What is the course about?
The idea behind this course is to engage in a discussion of the various links between regulation & competition law. There are a few angles I want to pursue. The first is about the use of the ‘regulation’ literature and competition law enforcement. This will be seminars 2 to 5. Here what I propose to do is give you some material to read ‘regulation’ and the techniques of regulation that is not written in a competition law key and ask the question of how far it helps understand competition law enforcement. The second is the relationship between ‘sector-specific regulation’ in the utilities sector and competition law. This is seminars 6 and 7. The third is the debate about whether competition law is ‘regulatory’. This is a derogatory term first used in the US in the mid-1990s, I want to explore its meaning. This is seminar 8. Then I want to think about regulating the competition authority and what the literature on ‘regulation inside government’ teaches us. This is seminar 9.
I will usually kick off with a brief overview of the topic and then try and lead a discussion, so please come prepared with points and observations, the seminar works if you participate and react to each other’s ideas.
There are just nine seminars because I am organizing/participating in two conferences and I invite you to attend these as they are related to the course. These are: 30 and 31 October (workshop on commitments) and 27 November (workshop on healthcare and competition law). Once the programmes are available I will circulate these.
What is the point of the course?
The point is to test how far we can enrich the way we study competition law by using the insights of the literature on regulation. I think this is relevant not least because of changes in enforcement style and the broadening of competition law’s reach.
For each week please read what is assigned and then write a ‘reaction paragraph’ below the relevant seminar page on-line. The reaction can be on a narrow point you noted in one of the readings, or a reflection on a big theme that emerges from the readings as a whole. I leave it open to you how you react as the aim of the course is not to close with ‘answers’ but to refine the questions we ask of the legal/regulatory system we are considering.
I assume some knowledge of competition law, depending on the composition of the class, I am happy to devote part of a session going over the basics. Alternatively a good non-technical introduction is Cini and McGowan Competition Policy in the European Union 2nd ed (2008). More technical introductory texts are, for example, my chapters in Chalmers, Davies and Monti European Union Law: Text and Materials 3rd ed (2014) – the last three chapters of the book plus two on line chapters. For more comprehensive coverage, the dominant position is held by Whish Competition Law, and there are a number of other texts in the library.
On regulation literature, a very nice introduction is found in Lodge and Wegrich Managing Regulation (2012); also handy is Baldwin, Cave and Lodge Understanding Regulation 2nd ed (2012).