Competition Law

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Pablo Ibanez Colomo NAB7.18


This course is available on the BA in Anthropology and Law and LLB in Laws. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available to General Course students.

Course content

Competition is widely understood to be the best means to deliver lower prices and improved products for consumers. The purpose of competition rules is to preserve rivalry between firms so that these benefits are actually manifested in the marketplace. This is a field of law that applies in a very wide range of scenarios. In some cases, competition authorities take action against powerful firms (think of giants such as Microsoft, Google, or Intel) with the ability to influence market conditions and to exclude smaller rivals. In others, they control mergers and acquisitions to ensure that market structures are not negatively affected as a result of industry consolidation. They also intervene frequently against attempts by firms to avoid competing by means of secret price-fixing arrangements (the so-called ‘cartels’).

Competition law regimes have become a major feature of legal systems around the world. They have long applied in the US and Europe (under the lead of the European Commission) but have now been adopted (and/or actively enforced), inter alia, in jurisdictions like Brazil China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia or Singapore. This is a truly cosmopolitan discipline, in the sense that the competition law provisions in the different countries are virtually identical and are enforced in very much the same way.

Following an introduction in which competition law is put in its economic and institutional context, this module will address the main substantive and procedural aspects of the discipline. Topics covered include the following:

• Anticompetitive agreements between firms (including ‘cartels’ and distribution agreements).
• Abusive practice by dominant firms.
• Mergers and acquisitions, including both mergers between competitors and vertical and conglomerate arrangements.


20 hours of lectures and 5 hours of classes in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 4 hours of classes in the LT. 4 hours of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 essays in the MT and LT.

Indicative reading

R. Whish Competition Law (7th ed 2012; 7th ed forthcoming); A. Jones and B. Sufrin, EU Competition Law (4th ed 2010); H. Hovenkamp, The Antitrust Enterprise (2005), G. Monti, EC Competition Law (2007); Sandra Marco Colino, Competition Law of the EC and the UK (7th ed 2011).


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2012/13: 20

Average class size 2012/13: 12

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills