EU Competition Law & Policy

Description:

The aim of this module is to provide students with the ability to critically analyse the nature, development and application of EU Competition Law. Lectures cover primary and secondary EU law relating to competition within the EC, including the control of monopoly and oligopoly; merger control; anti-competitive agreements; and other anti-competitive practices. Emphasis is also placed on case-law to reflect the importance it assumes in practice. National competition law is also considered, both because of its value in providing a comparative study of two systems of competition law and because of its importance to the Greek practitioner and executive. The antitrust laws of the USA and competition laws of other jurisdictions are also referred to by way of comparison. In addition to anti-trust, we introduce students to the basic conceptual apparatus of EC law and policy on State aid and analyse some of the policy issues raised in regulating specific economic sectors. These lectures concentrate on the general EC framework and on national policies and regarding specific sectors (energy, telecommunications, transport, financial institutions, agriculture etc.). Lectures cover the following areas:

  • Nature, origin, historical development, rationale and competing perspectives of EU Competition Law and Policy
  • The importance of economic analysis and theory. Analysis of EU contexts and perspectives
  • Article 101 of the Treaty: The conditions for application of Article 101(1), restrictive practices, prohibited conduct, agreements, decisions, concerted practices, horizontal and vertical restraints, effects on trade between member states.
  • Article 101(2): Exemptions, notices, permissible co-operation, block exemptions. Enforcement
  • Article 102: Abuse of a dominant position, the concept and existence of a dominant position, the relevant product and geographical market, a dominant position, abuse, types of abuse, discriminatory, unfair and predatory pricing, unfair trading conditions, exclusive rights, refusals to deal
  • Enforcement: The role of the Commission and Courts, the Enforcement Regulations. Procedure before the Commission. Protection of the undertaking. Remedies. Reviewability. Economic analyses and policy considerations.
  • Modernisation and reform of EU competition law: latest developments
  • Mergers: The Merger Regulation. Origin, role, application, cases, interpretation, consequences
  • Member States and EU Competition Law: Application of Competition Law within the Member States. Relationship with national law. Significance of the Greek law 70/77 on the protection of free competition
  • State Aids. State involvement in the market. EC vs. national enforcement. The move towards enforceability at national level.
  • The US and International Experience: Relationship with EU Competition Law. The calls for a global competition authority
  • Compliance: Compliance schemes for undertakings to ensure adherence to EU Competition Law

Aim:

The objective of the course is to provide students with an understanding the EU Law and Policy in this area of law, together with the ability to subject it to critical legal analysis. By the completion of this module, the student should be able to evaluate and analyse the origin, rationale and substantive content of EU Competition Law, apply EU Competition Law to particular contexts and analyse the application, enforcement and evolution of EU Competition Law in an International context.