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LAW3003 : Competition Law

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr David Reader
  • Lecturer: Dr Francesco De Cecco
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Module aims:

To acquire knowledge and develop understanding of the different types of commercial behaviour that are subject to competition law scrutiny by EU and UK authorities.

To acquire knowledge and develop understanding of the relationship between UK and EU competition law and enforcement bodies.

To evaluate the effectiveness of EU and UK competition law in achieving the stated objectives.

Companies increasingly operate in global markets with little regard for the boundaries of the nation state, and yet commercial behaviour in one part of the world can cause ripple effects in many jurisdictions due to economic integration. This module considers how EU and UK competition law attempts to deal with anti-competitive behaviour both within and beyond their jurisdictional borders, from both a civil law and (increasingly) criminal law perspective.

Essentially the module will focus on the legal scrutiny of three broad categories of behaviour: monopolistic behaviour; anti-competitive agreements; and merger control. The module will also cover the legal regime for the control of state aids within the European Union.

An awareness of competition law and its impact upon business not only equips students with legal skills useful for those wishing to enter into legal practice, but also provides students with a greater commercial awareness that will be useful for all, irrespective of their chosen career path.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Introduction to UK & EU competition policy and law
•       Competition law enforcement framework and jurisdiction
•       Cartels and anti-competitive agreements
•       UK criminal cartel offence
•       Leniency
•       Control of monopoly power
•       Merger control
•       State aid

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture301:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will be interactive and require advance preparation, as will the seminars. The rationale for this teaching method is to promote analytical, argumentative and critical skills essential for discourse. The learning methods will rely on directed self study for the contact teaching time and independent study for the preparation of assessed coursework which will bring together the knowledge, cognitive, research and the assessed key skills.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1352A67N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M332000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination provides an important incentive for students to establish a foundation of knowledge in the subject. The unseen examination tests the demonstration of knowledge and understanding in the context of an application of skills that need to be developed over the whole module. The examination provides a means for testing students' ability to analyse, synthesise, deploy critical judgment and evaluate alternative arguments. It also allows candidates to demonstrate intended learning outcomes across a broad range of topics within the syllabus.

The assessed coursework will give students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their research skills, and their ability to understand the operation of law within the commercial environment, and present coherent arguments supported by appropriate legal basis and precedent.

Reading Lists