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Competition Law


Module description

Competition law is integral to the functioning of modern markets. Above all, the increase in global trade has vitally increased the significance of competition law: the idea of trade is intimately linked with the notion of ‘a level playing field’ between national markets, and competition law plays its vital part in creating that level playing field. However, competition law is also growing in vital importance in digital markets where control of communication nodes has become a defining feature of economic-political debate.

In this module we you an overview of the practical application of competition law. Perhaps more importantly, however, we also demonstrate through concrete examples how competition law is an artefact of political-constitutional debates and of economic theory thus allowing you to develop a dynamic overview of the ongoing development of competition law. You will also deepen your knowledge of core contract-commercial issues in law.

Indicative syllabus

  • The political history of competition law
  • The constitutional-economic history of competition law
  • The changing economic theory of competition law
  • Practical application: dominant position and abuse
  • Practical application: horizontal and vertical restraint
  • The roots of state aids law (widely defined) in political history and international trade
  • Practical application: social purposes (redefinition of)
  • The regional integration of competition law
  • The global importance of competition law
  • The importance of competition law within digital markets

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • detail the core legal concepts of competition law and apply them to a practical case
  • explain to a lay person the importance of political-constitutional and economic factors in the development of competition law
  • explain the importance of competition law in the facilitation of global trade
  • explain how competition law will be vital to the functioning of digital markets
  • understand the relationship between law and economic theory
  • understand the challenges of balancing competition law for private markets and the social policies of nation states
  • understand how competition law is ‘embedded’ in the political economy of individual polities.