Teaching hours and credit allocation: 15 hours, 3 credits
This module aims at enabling students to learn about the principles, the underpinning policies and the functioning of European and international competition law. Competition law constitutes one of the most important parts of the European Union and has significant influence on the European business and industry. EU competition policy ensures that competition is not distorted in the internal market by ensuring that similar rules apply to all the companies operating within in it.
Title VII, chapter 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union lays down the basis for the EU rules on competition. This module will examine in detail almost all units of EU competition law. The control of monopoly and oligopoly and merger control are some areas that present a great interest for the lawyer willing to practice competition law. Additionally, anti-competitive agreements and various other anti-competitive practices attract the interest of competition lawyers. Through a careful examination of the case law, students will see how competition law facilitates competition. References to domestic competition laws will be made, wherever this is necessary. Students will also examine the principles of economics underpinning competition law. International dimensions of competition law will also be analyzed.
On completing the course students will be able to:
- to identify the goals of EU competition law
- understand how the law governs business practices that may restrict competition
- understand how competition law can stop anticompetitive practices
- understand private and public enforcement
- critically evaluate the economic principles behind anti-competitive practices.
- be able to solve practical problems with regard to competition
- be able to draw conclusions from case law
- criticize the approach of competition law to certain anti-competitive practices
- understand the practice of governmental bodies in the implementation of competition law.
- Introduction to competition law and policy;
- Antitrust economics;
- Cartel agreements, concerted practices and the abuse of monopoly
- Horizontal & vertical agreements;
- Abuse of dominant position;
- Oligopolies, tacit collusion and unilateral action;
- Mergers and acquisitions
- The European Merger Regulation;
- Procedure, enforcement and remedies.
- Enforcement of competition law through private enforcement and via the investigations of the European Commission
- Enforcement and the international dimension
- The international dimension: extraterritoriality, cooperation & globalisation.
- Competition law and the state.
- Rules applicable to state aid
- Rules applicable to specific sectors (Agriculture, Energy, Postal services, Telecommunications, Transport)
- An introduction to US antitrust law (US antitrust regime and its main regulatory instruments, the Sherman Antitrust Act)