Competition Law

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
16 October 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module provides the opportunity to develop an understanding of the regulation of competition in a free market economy at two different levels: supranational (the EU) and national (the UK).

The course will cover competition law including restrictive agreements and concerted practices, merger control, the abuse of a dominant position, the cartel offence and the law of civil liability and third party rights. In addition, it will also consider current competition law policies and recent reforms.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

1. To develop an understanding of the rationale behind competition law and policy, and its importance in the regulation of a free market economy
2. To enable students to understand the direct impact of EU competition law on UK law
3. To provide an in-depth knowledge of the general principles of competition law of the EU and its influence on national laws
4. To provide students with the ability to understand the role of economic theory in competition law
5. To cover the main substantive norms relating to competition law within the EU and the UK, including abuse of a dominant position, merger control, anti-competitive agreements and other anti-competitive practices, as well as competition law, criminal law and civil liability.
6. To provide students with knowledge of recent reforms and future developments of competition law
7. To enable students to understand the practical application of competition law, including how the law governs business practices that may restrict competition in economic markets
8. To develop skills of legal research and problem analysis To promote independent learning and originality in approach
9. To enable the student to identify and analyse relevant legal issues and resolve problem questions by the application of substantive competition law within a time constraint

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Discuss and critically analyse EU and UK competition law and their sources
2. Explain the relationship between the EU and the UK competition law regimes
3. Demonstrate a sound knowledge and awareness of competition law and policy and its importance in the regulation of a free market economy
4. Demonstrate an awareness of interdisciplinary connections in competition law between the law and economics and particularly the importance of economic concepts
5. Demonstrate knowledge of the substantive norms of EU and UK competition law and assess developments in the areas of EU and UK competition law
6. Apply the relevant principles and rules of competition law to specific cases
7. Apply analytical skills to critically evaluate EU and UK competition law as it operates in a commercial environment
8. Demonstrate skills of legal research and problem analysis

Module information

Indicative Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction, goals of competition law; market definition and market power
Week 2: Article 101: Introduction, the nature of an undertaking, agreement and effect on trade
Week 3: Article 102 TFEU: General theory, dominance and abuse
Week 4: EU mergers
Week 5: UK mergers
Week 6: Article 101: Vertical agreements, the case law; the concept of the rule of reason and Article 101(3)
Week 7: The Vertical Agreement Block Exemption Regulation
Week 8: Joint Ventures and horizontal collaboration
Week 9: Cartels and regulatory enforcement
Week 10: Modernisation and private enforcement: civil actions

Learning and teaching methods

This module is taught via weekly lectures and fortnightly tutorials. The module teaching team will produce and make available on Moodle short guidance notes. The notes will also contain tips designed both to help you navigate the material to be covered in the lectures and to equip you to analyse the required readings. You will be expected to have completed the required readings in advance of your tutorials. Your tutorials will enable you to discuss the material covered in lectures and the required readings, obtain feedback on your pre-class preparation and deepen your understanding of key concepts. To help you prepare in the best possible way for your tutorials, you will be completing regular Multiple-Choice Quizzes on Moodle. The quizzes will be based on the reading set for that week so that the quiz forms part of your preparation for each tutorial. The quizzes will enable you to track your progress, understand what you are doing well, and give you clear feedback to help you manage your studies and your progress.


  • ‘Self-preferencing in the EU: a legal and policy analysis of the Google Shopping case and the Digital Markets Act’ (no date).
  • Whish, R. and Bailey, D. (2021) Competition Law. 10th edn. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/he/9780198836322.001.0001.
  • Jones, A., Sufrin, B.E. and Dunne, N. (2019) Jones & Sufrin’s EU Competition Law: Text, Cases, and Materials. 7th edn. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/he/9780198824657.001.0001.
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Multiple Choice Quizzes - Continuous Assessment (LW343 Competition Law)    20% 
Coursework   Essay (LW343 Competition Law)    80% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Carlo Petrucci, email: c.petrucci@essex.ac.uk.
Law Education Office, lawschoolug@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Prof Duncan Sheehan
University of Leeds
Available via Moodle
Of 36 hours, 18 (50%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
16 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Law School

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