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Unit information: Competition Law of the European Union in 2015/16

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Unit name Competition Law of the European Union
Unit code LAWDM0009
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Subramanian
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit provides an overall view of European Union competition law and policy. The unit will help students understand how EU competition law applies to common business practices and transactions and how it affects the conduct of firms and the agreements and arrangements into which they enter. The unit covers the objectives and economics of competition law; agreements between undertakings; control of firms with market power; concerted practices and oligopolies; and merger control; and extra-territoriality and globalisation.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit a successful student will be able to explain:

a)the economic and theoretical ideas which underlie competition laws and the role of competition laws in the globalised economy;

b) competing theories as to the objectives of EU competition law;

c) the application of EU competition law to common business practices;

d) the effect of EU competition law on the conduct of firms and the agreements and arrangements into which they enter; and

e) how competition law is enforced in the EU by the European Commission and the national competition authorities of the Member States.

Students should be able to extrapolate their knowledge: a) to specific areas of EU competition law not covered in detail by the unit; b) to understanding systems of competition law in jurisdictions outside the EU.

By the end of the unit students should be able to understand the economic and legal concepts used in EU competition law, state the law accurately insofar as it is clear, and explain the problems and controversies where it is not. They should be able to apply legal principles to problem case scenarios, and to think critically about the law and about how it could be improved and/or clarified.

Students should have become familiar with using the website of the Competition Directorate General of the European Commission and finding and reading the relevant case law of the Court of Justice and the General Court.

Teaching details

Eleven two-hour seminars.

Assessment Details

One three hour examination in May/June in which students answer three questions out of a choice of 9 or 10. The assessment will assess all the Intended Learning Outcomes for this unit. The questions include both essays and problem questions.

Reading and References

Jones & Sufrin, EU Competition Law: Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford University Press 2014);

Whish, Competition Law (, Oxford University Press, 2015 when published)