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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAW3055
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: FIRTH A Prof (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability
Both Semesters
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment

Weighting towards Module Mark (%)  

One 2,000 word essay


One three-hour examination


Module Overview

The course provides an introduction to competition law and policy and the relationship between national law and European Community law in this area. It concentrates on the law concerning the prevention, restriction and distortion of competition at national and EC level. It also examines the external dimension, namely the impact of transnational activities in an increasingly globalised market and the problem of extraterritorial jurisdiction.    The emphasis will be on the substantive law, but with a thorough assessment of the historical development and overall effectiveness of both law and policy to date. Key aspects of procedure and enforcement of the competition rules will also be studied to provide a better understanding of the application of the theory in practice. Another area of the law which has experienced great European influence is intellectual property, which seeks to reward and/or incentivise creation and innovation. This is achieved by the grant of exclusive rights in the shorter term in order to enrich the ‘public domain’ in the longer term (by the disclosure of inventions, the publication of works, the broadcasting of performances and so forth). Intellectual property’s emphasis on exclusivity, coupled with the fact that rights tend to be territorial, can bring it into conflict with the goals of competition law and market integration. The course will identify the main types of intellectual property in terms of subject-matter, conditions for protection, duration and scope of protection and will  examine their interplay with competition law and with the free movement of goods and services.

Module Aims

The aim of the module is to provide students with a basic understanding of the economic basis of competition policy sufficient to enable them to appreciate the operation of the substantive provisions of competition law in the EC and the UK.. These they will then consider in detail in the light of the jurisprudence of the European Courts. They will also assess the role of competition policy as an instrument of integration, firstly within the European Community and then across the European Economic Area. The course will emphasis the paradox or ‘trade-off’ by which intellectual property seeks to achieve consumer welfare through the grant of temporary exclusive rights and the ways in which conflicts competition law and free movement rules have been resolved by the courts.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Show familiarity with the economic terms used in competition policy  
  • Show that they are conversant with the terminology of intellectual property  
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of competition theory and a full appreciation of the approach adopted by the Commission and the European Court of Justice  
  • Explain the legal framework of competition law in the UK and the EC and the objectives of UK and EC competition policy  
  • Appreciate the role of competition law in the establishment of the Single Market and beyond  
  • Understand the scope of the competition rules and the detail of how they operate in practice  
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of intellectual property law its subject-matter  
  • Explain how balances are struck within intellectual property law between the interests of rights owners and users, through thresholds for protection, exceptions and limitations  
  • Assess objectively the current concerns of the regulatory authorities  
  • Evaluate the need for activity within the World Trade Organisation  
Solve problems requiring knowledge and application of UK and EC competition and intellectual property law to factual situations
Module Content
  • The nature and importance of competition policy  
  • The origins of UK competition law  
  • The origins of EC competition law  
  • The scope and application of Article 81 EC: restrictive practices  
  • The scope and application of Article 82 EC: abuse of a dominant position  
  • Services of general economic interest  
  • State aids  
  • Enforcement and Procedure: Regulation 1/2003  
  • Review by the European Courts: the jurisprudence  
  • Merger Control: Regulation 139/2004  
  • The EC rules on competition and the national courts  
  • The role of national competition authorities  
Developments at the WTO
Methods of Teaching/Learning
The lectures will introduce the students to the subject areas and provide an over-view to enable students to understand the basic principles and underlying concepts. The tutorials will open out the subject, consider key principles and legislative provisions and provide the student with signposts to background and supplementary reading and electronic sources. During tutorial students will be expected to have researched topic areas and to apply that research in discussing legal problems. Guided reading programmes will be supplied and students must demonstrate in tutorials that they have undertaken these. Students will be expected to present logical arguments founded on legal authorities
Selected Texts/Journals

Course Textbooks:  
Jones & Sufrin: EC Competition Law (OUP, 3nd ed. 2007) 
M. Furse: Competition Law of the EC and the UK (OUP, 6th ed.2008) Middleton Blackstone’s EC and UK Competition Documents (OUP, 5th edn, 2007)

Hart, Fazzani & Clark Intellectual Property Law (Palgrave MacMillan, 4th edn, 2006)

Background Reading: 
V. Korah: An Introductory Guide to EC Competition Law and Practice (Hart, 9th rev ed, 2007)
W. Sauter: Competition Law and Industrial Policy in the EU (OUP, 1st ed, 1997


R. Mayne: The Recovery of Europe (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1st ed, 1970) 
Albors-Llorens: EC Competition Law and Policy (Willan, 2002)

Reference only:


R. Whish: Competition Law (OUP, 6th ed, 2008)

L Bently & B Sherman Intellectual Property (OUP 3rd edn, 2009)

De Burca & Scott: The EU and WTO: Legal and Constitutional Issues (Hart, 2002)

L. Ortiz Blanco: EC Competition Procedure (OUP, 2nd ed, 2006)

Neill & Scaife: UK Competition Procedure: The Modernised Regime (OUP, 2006)

Bellamy & Child: Common Market Law of Competition (Sweet & Maxwell, 6th ed, 2008)

D.G.Goyder: EC Competition Law (OUP, 4th ed , 2003)

T. Prosser, The Limits of Competition Law, Markets and Public Services (Oxford Studies in Law, 2005)

J. Baquero Cruz, Between Competition and Free Movement: The EconomicConstitutional Law of the EC (Hart, 2002)

Briones & Folguera, Merger Control in the EU (OUP, 2nd ed, 2005)











Last Updated
May 2009