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Competition Law (Senior Status)


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.

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

Indicative module syllabus

  • The political history of competition law
  • The constitutional-economic history of competition law
  • The changing economic theory of competition law
    • Abuse of a dominant position
    • Collusion and cartels
    • Mergers
  • The roots of state aids law in political history and international trade: embedding the economy
  • The global importance of competition law
  • The importance of competition law within digital markets
  • Competition law and developmental economics

Learning objectives

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

  • detail the core economic theories underpinning competition
  • 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.