Competition Law

The details
Law (School of)
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
27 October 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

Competition law is a key part of the internal market legislation of the EU, and thus a key part of the EU law in practice. In turn, EU competition law and the developments that have taken place at the supranational level have shaped the competition laws and policies of the EU Member States, at the national level. This module will focus on the regulation of competition in a twofold context: the supranational and the national. With regard to the supranational level, the module will examine the legal rules of EU competition law, taking into account the underlying economic principles and wider policy issues. It will look at the fundamental principles behind EU competition law, the substantive law on identifying anti-competitive practices, and the enforcement dimension of EU competition law. UK competition law has traditionally mirrored EU competition law. As the UK has left the EU and as the negotiations for the future relationship between the UK and EU are still ongoing, references to the shape of UK competition law will be made when possible.

Module aims

This module aims to:

• Provide students with an insight into the EU and UK competition law regimes;
• Enable students to understand the direct links between EU competition law and domestic law and enforcement in the context of UK law;
• Develop students’ in-depth understanding of the general principles of EU competition law and its influence on national laws of Member States;
• Cover the main substantive norms relating to competition law in the U and the UK, including cartel prohibition, abuse of dominant position, merger control, anti-competitive practices, as well as the enforcement of competition law at the national and supranational level;
• Equip students with an appreciation of the debates surrounding recent reforms and potential developments of competition law;
• Enable students to identify and analyse relevant legal issues and resolve problem questions through the application of substantive competition law within a time constraint.

Module learning outcomes

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

• Identify and critically analyse the sources of EU competition law;
• Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the importance of substantive issues and legal concepts of EU and UK competition law in the regulation of a free market economy;
• Appraise legal developments in the areas of EU and UK competition law (especially in the fields of anti-trust, abuse of dominant position, and mergers) and question the effects of these developments on private and public companies;
• Apply the relevant principles and rules of competition law to scenarios taken from practice in order to deliver sound legal advice;
• Critically evaluate the operation of EU and UK competition law in a commercial environment;
• Engage in individual legal research in order to argue for or against a given proposition related to legal developments in the EU or UK competition law regimes.

Module information

Week 2 – Lecture 1: Introduction to Competition law and policy
Goals of competition law; connection between EU and domestic competition law; institutions involved in competition law and policy

Week 3 – Lecture 2: Essential Concepts and Structure of Article 101 TFEU
Introduction to concepts such as the nature of an undertaking, agreements, effect on trade, de minimis; distinction between restrictions ‘by object’ and restrictions ‘by effect’

Week 4 – Lecture 3: The relationship between Article 101(1) and Article 101(3) TFEU and Vertical Restraints
Article 101(1) and Article 101(3) TFEU and the concept of the rule of reason; introduction to anti-competitive vertical agreements

Week 5 – Lecture 4: Cartels and Public Enforcement
Cartels and Public Enforcement; Leniency and its effectiveness

Week 6 – Lecture 5: Article 102 TFEU: Introduction to abuse of dominant position
Introduction to Article 102 TFEU; general theory; market power; dominance

Week 7 – Lecture 6: Article 102 TFEU: Specific abuses of dominant position
Forms of abuse: Predatory Pricing, Exclusive agreements and Rebates, Refusal to supply

Week 8 – Lecture 7: Public enforcement – Institutional aspects of public enforcement (Regulation No 1/2003) – Investigatory powers and Commission’s commitment decisions

Week 9 – Lecture 8: Private Enforcement of EU competition law
Policy of private enforcement, relationship with public enforcement, and Directive 2014/104/EU

Week 10 – Lecture 9: EU Mergers
EU Merger Regulation; Procedural stage and substantive stage; Examining recent problematic mergers

Week 11 – Lecture 10: Revision

Learning and teaching methods

This module is taught through a mixture of weekly live webinars, pre-recorded videos, and tutorials. Each week, the module teaching team will first produce and make availableon Moodle two 25-minute pre-recorded video lectures. The module teaching team will then deliver a weekly live 50-minute webinarin which they further explore key legal conceptsand answer your questions about the topics. These lectures and webinarswill subsequently be available online through Moodle so that you can re-watch them as part of your independent study.


  • Whish, Richard; Bailey, David. (2018-07-26) Competition Law: Oxford University Press.

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 Weighting
Coursework   LW702 Mid-Term Assessment    20% 
Coursework   LW702 Summative Essay    80% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


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



External examiner

Dr Hedvig Katherine Schmidt Moutsatsos
The University of Southampton
Associate Professor
Available via Moodle
Of 1185 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
1185 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Law (School of)

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.