Course Code : LAW 403
Course Title : Introduction to Competition Law and Consumer Protection
Weekly Teaching Hour: 1 session per week, including lectures, problem-based cases, meet the – researcher sessions and an in-class presentation
Who may enrol : Compulsory course Year 4 (Senior) LLB students.
Prerequisites : Previously studied and passed a Laws course
Lecturer : To be announced on August 2020
Description : Competition law and consumer protection are essential underpinnings of a market economy. Competition law is intended to ensure that the market remains competitive, so that a meaningful range of options is made available to consumers. Competition law rules influence and govern a broad range of corporate practices. For example, competition authorities may take enforcement action against firms, which agree not to compete with each other and secretly fix prices (‘cartels’), or against firms that have the ability to influence market conditions and to exclude equally efficient competitors (Microsoft, Google). Competition authorities also have the power to block mergers and acquisitions that are likely to create market dominance or otherwise harm consumers. Consumer protection laws are intended to ensure that the consumers can effectively exercise choice in the market. They aim to safeguard the economic interests of consumers, empower them with free and informed choice and give them rights when something goes wrong. Consumer protection laws may specify a duty of information, a total prohibition of misleading and aggressive practices, a prohibition of unfair contract terms in certain types of contracts and so on.
This course will offer you an advanced understanding of the interaction between these two different norms governing market regulation and explore their application in the context of e-commerce. E-commerce ¬– broadly, buying and selling online – has become an important feature of economic activity throughout the world. The growth of e-commerce has the potential to increase competition and enhance consumer choice, yet it may also facilitate anticompetitive conduct by firms (e.g. algorithmic collusion), which is reflected in the increasing levels of antitrust enforcement in e-commerce markets.
Term 1 will introduce you to the main competition law provisions.
Term 2 will explore the interaction between competition law and consumer protection in the context of e-commerce.
The course will be taught by: a) lectures; b) problem-based classes, where you will be given the opportunity to practice your problem-solving skills; and c) ‘meet the researcher’ teaching sessions, where you will be introduced to the research of leading MTU scholars in the field of competition law and the work of the MTU Centre for Law, Economics and Society and thus directly draw connections with the themes discussed in the course.
Recommended Textbook (s) and Supplementary Books :
- Competition Law – Analysis, Cases and Materials (OUP 2019) by I Lianos, V Korah and P Siciliani.
- An Introduction to Competition Law, By: Piet Jan Slot, Martin Farley, Hart Publishing, ISBN: 9781849461801
Class Participation 10%,
Mid-term Examination 30%,
Assignments 10%, 2 x formative essays
Final Examination 50%, 70% Coursework (5,000 words),
30% Oral Presentation
Attendance 95 % compulsory.