Competition Law

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Pablo Ibanez Colomo

Additional teachers: Dr Stavros Makris


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

Course content

Competition is widely understood to be the best means to deliver better goods and services at lower prices. The point of competition law is to preserve the process of rivalry between firms, and, by doing so, to benefit consumers and society at large. A broad range of corporate strategies are subject to this field of law. For instance, competition authorities enforce the law against large multinational firms (such as Microsoft, Google, or Intel) that have the ability to influence market conditions and exclude smaller rivals. Competition authorities also have the power to block mergers and acquisitions that are capable of harming consumers (think of a merger creating a monopoly). Attempts by firms to avoid competing by means of secret arrangements (the so-called ‘cartels’) are another key area of enforcement.

Competition law regimes have progressively become a major feature of legal systems around the world. They have long applied in the US and Europe – including the UK – but have now been adopted (and/or are actively enforced), inter alia, in jurisdictions like Brazil, Chile, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa. Unlike other legal disciplines, the relevant provisions in all of these regimes are virtually identical in their form and substance. This is, in other words, a truly cosmopolitan field. After this module, you will be equipped to understand and practice competition law almost anywhere in the world.

After 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 transactions.


This course will have three hours of teaching content each week in Michaelmas Term and Lent Term. This course includes a reading week in Weeks 6 of Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to produce at least two formative essays per term

Indicative reading

N. Dunne, A. Jones and B. Sufrin, EU Competition Law (Oxford: OUP, 7th ed, 2019); and H. Hovenkamp, The Antitrust Enterprise (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005).


Online assessment (100%) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Law School

Total students 2021/22: 40

Average class size 2021/22: 13

Capped 2021/22: Yes (60)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills