LAWCOMM 706 - Competition Law and Policy

Lecturer biography

Chris Noonan is an Associate Professor in Commercial Law. He teaches and researches in the areas of company law, competition law, and international trade law. Chris is the author of The Emerging Principles of International Competition Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). He has consulted to and served as a legal adviser to a number of governments and international organizations on international trade matters. In 2010 and 2011 Chris was the Chief Trade Adviser for the thirteen Pacific Forum Island Countries negotiating the PACER Plus agreement with Australia and New Zealand.

Course outline

This course covers the main substantive laws relating to competition law, including: market definition and market power; price fixing and other agreements that substantially lessen competition; criminalisation of cartel conduct; taking advantage of market power; and control of business acquisitions. The emphasis is placed predominantly on New Zealand competition law, but the competition laws of Australia, the European Union, the United States and other jurisdictions are also referred to by way of comparison.

Syllabus

This course seeks to foster an understanding of the policy, statutory, economic, and international dimensions of competition law and policy. It examines the economic effects and legality of restrictive business practices and mergers and acquisitions under competition law and the circumstances under which prices might be regulated. While the course will focus on the competition law of New Zealand, it will cover issues that are relevant to all jurisdictions and make some reference to the experience in Australia, the United States and the European Union.

Topics may include:

  • Market definition, the assessment of market power and conditions of entry, and competition tests
  • Hardcore cartels and the treatment of tacit collusion
  • Joint ventures and cooperation between competitors and other agreement that may substantially lessen competition
  • Unilateral taking advantage of market power, such as predatory pricing, bundling and tying and refusals to deal
  • The assessment of mergers that substantially lessen competition, including mergers that may better facilitate coordination between competitors
  • Price control
  • The relationship between competition law and intellectual property law
  • The application of the public benefit test and the review of the authorisation process
  • The internationalisation of competition law, including its extraterritorial application, the emerging cooperation arrangements between national competition authorities and between courts, and the role of competition principles and law within regional trade arrangements and the WTO

Objectives

Students who complete this course successfully should:

  • Understand the fundamental elements of competition rules and competition policy analysis
  • Gain familiarity with competition law jurisprudence, particularly that of New Zealand
  • Engage with the current issues of principle and policy underlying the increasingly transnational application of competition law and the international regulation of competition

Assessment

  • 90% research paper (12,500 words) due at 12 noon on Friday 19th October 2018
  • 10% presentation and contribution

Each student will be asked to give a brief (15 minute) presentation to the class. In addition, each student is expected to make individual contributions to the seminar discussions. Students will be individually assessed on the quality of their contributions with reference to the following criteria:

  • The extent to which the student has identified the important and relevant issues
  • The depth and thoroughness of understanding of the seminar materials
  • The strength and clarity of the arguments presented
  • The extent to which issues are placed in their wider context
  • The extent to which the student has displayed a grasp of the doctrinal and normative issues

Course details

Semester: Two (full semester)
Time: Wednesdays, 5-8pm
Points: 30
Venue: Building 810, Room 3.40
1-11 Short Street
Assessment due date: by 12 noon 16 November 2018

Contact details

Postgraduate Student Adviser
Law Student Centre
Level 2, 1-11 Short Street

Email: postgradlaw@auckland.ac.nz