Module SXL-4401:
Competition Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

15 Credits or 7.5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Mark Hyland

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To critically examine the law relating to competition, monopolies and mergers in relation to both the UK and EU. The module will be taught taking into account the general economic and philosophical underpinning of competition law and regulation.
  2. To develop a sound knowledge of the law and practice relating to the law of competition in its relevant aspects.
  3. To encourage a contextual study of the law in this area.
  4. To encourage students to take a proactive approach to legal learning in relation to competition law.
  5. Encourage a critical assessment of competition law by reference to scholarship, research and proposals for reform.
  6. Encourage independent and original thought.
  7. Provide an opportunity to develop advanced research skills.
  8. Provide an opportunity to develop professional communication skills.

Course content

This module will explain and illustrate the importance of competition (or, anti-trust) rules for 21st century economies. . It will highlight the importance of companies/firms complying with the Competition Law rules and adhering to pro-competitive business practices. Focus will be placed on the anti-competitive nature of the following practices: cartel activity, concerted practices, illegal price-fixing agreements, market sharing, production restraints, predatory pricing, the abuse of a dominant position and illegal arrangements in relation to the licensing of intellectual property rights. It will also examine the civil and criminal liability of firms, directors and managers who do breach the Competition Law rules.

The module will consist of seminars relating to the theory of competition, comparative competition law regimes, UK Competition Law, EU Competition Law (particularly Articles 101 and 102, TFEU) and U.S. Antitrust Law (Rule of Reason). The seminars will also cover the following important issues: restrictive practices, vertical and horizontal restraints, abuse of a dominant position, competition litigation and enforcement, the intersection between Competition Law and Intellectual Property Law, current proposals to reform the UK Competition Law regime, current proposals to reform the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation i.e. Regulation (EC) No 772/2004 and, finally, analysis of the EU Merger Control Regulation i.e. Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Displays ability within a specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing appropriate skills to conduct research. Work at threshold quality demonstrates an adequate knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, some of which is informed by thinking at the forefront of the academic discipline. Work at this level shows a developing understanding of techniques applicable to the student’s own research. It shows an ability of apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced by the work indicates that the student can evaluate scholarship in the field.

good

Displays accomplished ability within a specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing good quality skills to conduct research. Good work in this module will demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, much of which is at, or informed by thinking at, the forefront of the academic discipline. Work at this level shows a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to the student’s own research. It shows an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced in the work indicates that the student can evaluate advanced scholarship in the discipline. The work shows an ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where, appropriate, propose hypotheses.

excellent

Displays mastery of a complex and specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing advanced skills to conduct research. Excellent work in this module will contain the qualities recognized in good work, but will show them in a more consistent way, and at all points. It will demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, much of which is at the forefront of this academic discipline. Work at this level shows a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to the student’s own research or to advanced scholarship. It shows throughout an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced in the work indicates that the student can critically evaluate advanced scholarship in the discipline, and do so in a consistent manner. The work shows an ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where, appropriate, propose hypotheses.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the law of competition.

  2. Describe the main rules, principles and policies operating in the relevant areas of competition law and set these in the appropriate context.

  3. Show an ability to critically evaluate and analyse the law relating to competition.

  4. Outline the main criticisms and proposals for the reform of the law which have been made in relation to these rules, principles and policies.

  5. Critically identify and analyse the relevant legislation and case law governing the law of competition.

  6. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the application of the law to complex fact problems relating to competition law issues.

  7. Critically formulate, investigate and refine suggestions for the development and/or reform of the existing law.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 128
Seminar

This module will consist of 11 x 2 hour seminars. For each seminar students will be expected to have prepared essential reading together with either preparation of problem questions, for which they will be expected to prepare brief outline answers which will enable them to participate in discussion of the seminar questions or alternatively to prepare short individual preparations. Other forms of teaching exercises, such as team preparations, may be used from time to time.

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Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of advanced level theories concerning Law & Banking. Candidates will develop special research skills (via the Legal Research module) and critical thinking across a range of Law & Banking areas and an understanding of the complex context in which lawyers and banking personnel in this inter-disciplinary area work, and are faced with.

Resources

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: