This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the discipline of competition law. Students can expect to obtain a detailed understanding of the EU competition system, alongside a comparative examination of the similarities and differences with the US antitrust law framework. Contemporary challenges within current competition law are identified and discussed throughout the course, and students are invited to consider the optimal scope of the competition rules within modern markets.
EU competition law is one of the most well established and well regarded systems of competition law (antitrust) in the world today. At its core, the EU competition framework incorporates three key provisions:
- Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which prohibits anti-competitive agreements and other forms of coordination between economic actors;
- Article 102 TFEU, which prohibits the abuse of market power held by an economic entity which holds a dominant position in the market;
- The EU Merger Regulation (EUMR), which prohibits mergers and other concentrations which would significantly impede effective competition in the internal market.
This course will engage in a systematic examination and assessment of each of these three areas of substantive competition law. Consideration will also be given to the distinctive and multi-faceted system under which EU competition law is enforced, variously, by the European Commission, the national competition authorities of the Member States, and the growing emphasis placed on private enforcement via antitrust damages actions brought by ‘private attorneys general’. Finally, students will be exposed to a range of ‘hot topics’ in contemporary competition law, with a particular emphasis on the antitrust issues posed by the Tech Giants.