Competition Law

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Pablo Ibanez Colomo NAB5.16


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

It is widely accepted that competition is the best means to deliver better products at lower prices for consumers. The point of competition rules is to preserve the process of rivalry rivalry between firms. This is an area of the law applies to a broad range of corporate strategies. In some cases, competition authorities take action against powerful firms (think of multinationals such as Microsoft, Google, or Intel) that have the ability to influence market conditions and to exclude smaller rivals. In other instances, action is taken to block mergers and acquisitions damaging the competitive process (e.g. a merger creating a monopoly). Finally, authorities intervene frequently against attempts by firms to avoid competing by means of secret price-fixing arrangements (the so-called ‘cartels’).

Competition law has progressively become a major feature of legal systems around the world. It is a discipline with a long tradition in the US and Europe (under the lead of the European Commission). Competition law regimes have now been adopted (and/or actively enforced), inter alia, in jurisdictions like Brazil China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia or Singapore. Interestingly, this is a truly cosmopolitan field, in the sense that the relevant provisions are virtually identical in their form and substance around the world 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 practices by dominant firms.

• Mergers and acquisitions, including both mergers between competitors and vertical and conglomerate arrangements.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 2 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

Whish and Bailey, Competition Law (8th ed 2015); Jones and Sufrin, EU Competition Law (5th ed 2014); Hovenkamp, The Antitrust Enterprise (2005).


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2015/16: 29

Average class size 2015/16: 15

Capped 2015/16: Yes (30)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills