Competition Law and Fundamentals of Digital Markets Regulation

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
27 May 2022


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:

1. Provide students with an insight into the EU and UK competition law regimes;
2. Enable students to understand the direct links between EU competition law and domestic law and enforcement in the context of UK law;
3. Develop students’ in-depth understanding of the general principles of EU competition law and its influence on national laws of Member States;
4. Cover the main substantive norms relating to competition law in the EU 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;
5. Equip students with an appreciation of the debates surrounding recent reforms and potential developments of competition law;
6. 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:

1. Identify and critically analyse the sources of EU competition law;
2. 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;
3. 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;
4. Apply the relevant principles and rules of competition law to scenarios taken from practice in order to deliver sound legal advice;
5. Critically evaluate the operation of EU and UK competition law in a commercial environment;
6. 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

Indicative Syllabus

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

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’

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

Lecture 4: Cartels and Public Enforcement
Cartels and Public Enforcement; Leniency and its effectiveness

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

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

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

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

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

Lecture 10: Revision

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be taught via weekly 2-hour seminars and weekly 1-hour tutorials. The module teaching team will upload all relevant teaching materials on Moodle. You will find reading lists, the textbook, weekly handouts or PPS notes on Moodle. The materials in question are designed both to help you navigate the material to be covered in the seminars and to equip you to analyse the required readings. You will be expected to have completed the required readings in advance of your seminars.


  • Jones, Alison; Sufrin, B. E.; Dunne, Niamh. (2019) Jones & Sufrin's EU competition law: text, cases, and materials, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Richard Whish and David Bailey. (no date) Competition Law.

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   Essay (LW702 EU Competition Law)    100% 

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.
Dr Carlo Petrucci & Dr Anastasia Karatzia



External examiner

Prof Duncan Sheehan
University of Leeds
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Law School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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