module specification

BL6051 - Competition Law (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Competition Law
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 40%   In-class assessment (45 minutes)
Coursework 60%   Problem based essay 2,500-3,000 words
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The area of competition law has seen a marked increase in its profile and in the level of legislation, regulation at both the EU and national level in recent years.   The competition law seeks to prevent agreements between or conduct by companies with substantial market power which unreasonably restrict the operation of competition on a market.  This module examines competition law from the UK and European perspective building on the aspects of the UK law and the Law of the European Union studied at level 4.  The competition law module introduces students to the legal issues surrounding businesses' competitive practices.

Prior learning requirements

Level 4 business law module or equivalent

Module aims

The module aims to:

1. give students knowledge of the legal framework of competition law and to demonstrate its importance in the business context. Skills: academic writing, problem solving, ciritcal thinking;

2. develop an understanding of the political and social influences which affect the introduction and implementation of competition law and to consider current competition law issues. Skills: academic writing, problem solving, creativity, researching;

3. develop an ability to identify legal problems in a competition context and to think critically and propose solutions applying legal principles. Skills: Critical thinking, problem solving, academic writing;

4. develop techniques which will enable students to deal with legal problems in a competition context, and to develop an analytical approach to such problems. Skills: academic writing, problem solving ciritcal thinking;

5. develop an understanding of the functions of competition laws as they apply to agreements between understanding, decisions of associations of undertaking and concerted practices and to develop a critical awareness of the deficiencies of the law in this area. Skills: critical thinking, researching.


1. Introduction to Competition Law: the function of competition law, sources of competition law, UK and European law influences, the institutions for enforcement.

2. UK- Competition Act- 1998 and Enterprise Act 2002.

3. EU Competition Law and Policy: Article 101 TFEU (old Article 81 EC) elements of an infringement and application: undertakings; agreements, decisions and concerted practices, the object or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition, agreements failings outside Article 101 TFEU, effect on inter-state trade; de minimis doctrine. Article 101 TFEU : individual and block exemptions.

4. EU Competition Law and Policy: Article 102 TFEU (old Article 82 EC) elements of an infringement and application; undertakings; effect on inter-state trade; dominant position-relevant product market, geographical market, temporal market; abuse.

5. Enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU.

6. Horizontal and Vertical Restraints, Oligopoly and Price Discrimination: examples of anti-competitive practices.

7. Intellectual Property: horizontal and vertical agreements, anti-monopoly control, UK and EUlaw.

8. Control of Mergers: UK and EU law.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered by a combination of lectures (2 hours) and seminars (1 hour). The principal aim of the lectures will be to disseminate legal principles providing a framework for further study. The seminars will involve students in a number of activities, primarily problem solving case study type questions, working both individually and in-groups. Students will be expected to prepare for and lead discussions in seminars and will be required to develop an ability to explain complex legal materials in clear and concise terms both through presentations and in written answers. Discussions and debates on topical legal issues will require students to consider the social and cultural diversity of society and to appreciate the social, economic and political context of law making in the UK and Europe.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will:

1. gain knowledge and understanding of the basic legal principles of competition law and the political and social influences affecting the introduction and implementation of competition law particularly European issues;

2. develop further an ability to identify legal problems in a competition law context and propose solutions communicating answers clearly both orally and in writing;

3. gain awareness of current competition law issues and develop the ability to analyse and critically interpret legal issues which arise in a competition law context;

4. gain understanding and awareness of the ways in which the law seeks to regulate agreements between undertakings, decision of associations of undertakings and concerted practices and a critical appreciation of the deficiencies of the law in this area.


Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy will allow for the delivery of the learning outcomes outlined above.

In-class Test - 1 hour (40%)

The first assessment component is designed to test students legal knowledge and understanding of elements and principles of law. This assessment consists of multiple choice/short answer questions.

Written coursework - Case Study (60%)

The second assessment component in addition to reinforcing the capabilities covered in the in-class assessment, will assess the students’ ability to use their acquired legal knowledge and the possibility of incorporating topical developments in law. It also gives the students the possibility to demonstrate their ability to think in legal terms within a given business situation and to apply legal principles. Students will be expected to explain in clear and concise terms complex legal materials they have gathered on topical issues in competition law and will be expected to demonstrate the capacity to think critically and produce solutions to a number of legal problems. Students will receive a case study in order to research relevant legal issues and will be required to answer questions based on the case study (2,500-3,000 words).


Essential Reading

Graham, C. (2010) EU and UK Competition Law, Longman.
Colino, S.M. (2011) Competition Law of the EU and UK, OUP. 
Jones, A and Sufrin, B. (2011) 4th ed. Text, Cases and Materials EU Competition Law, OUP.
Wish, R (2011), Competition Law, OUP. 
Rodger, B.J & MacCulloch, A (2009) Competition Law and Policy in the EC and UK, Routledge-Cavendish. 
Furse, M (2008), 6th ed. Competition Law of the UK and EC, OUP.
Ezrachi, A (2008) EC Competition Law: An Analytical Guide to the Leading Cases, Hart Publishing.

Relevant law journals are available from the library (hardcopies) and LMU on-line library resources (e.g. LexisNexis, Lawtel and WestLaw)  (EU official web site)  (EU consumer affairs)  (UK Department for Business Innovation & Skills)  (Office of Fair Trading) /  (Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT))  (UK, European Consumer Centre)