Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Regulation of Business Cartels in Europe
Academic Year
Distance Learning

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Module Assessment  Written Assignment of 5,000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Display a knowledge and understanding of the concept of the business cartel and its economic and legal significance.
2. Display a knowledge and understanding of the process of legal regulation and the challenges facing such regulation in this context of business activity.
3. Critically evaluate the strategies and processes pertaining to the regulation of business activity at different legal levels and across jurisdictions.
4. Display an ability to gain access to the relevant literature and materials in this field and how to use them in a critical discussion of the subject.
5. Present critical and well-informed argument regarding the problems of achieving legal regulation of a sector of business activity.

Brief description

This module will provide an introduction to the policy and practice of regulating the activities of business cartels and an account of how this area of regulation has developed in the European context. It will introduce the concept of the business cartel and the arguments concerning the need for legal intervention in this area. The principal models of regulation (North American and European) will be discussed and the earlier phase of regulation in European national legal systems in the first half of the twentieth century considered. A detailed account of the development of cartel regulation in the context of the EC/EU during the second half of the twentieth century will provide the core area of study, addressing the emergence of the idea of the business cartel as a delinquent organization and the main challenges to regulators in achieving an effective regulation and control of cartel activities.


1. The concept of the business cartel and the mode of operation of such cartels.
2. The application of competition policy to the activities of business cartels and the economic arguments relating to their operation.
3. Principal models of legal control: a comparison of North America and European approaches.
4. The earlier phase of European regulation: national legal systems during the first half of the C 20.
5. Business cartels in the context of the European Single market and the underlying assumptions of EC regulation.
6. The development of EC regulation 1970 to the present, presenting an overview of Commission strategies and their legal review by the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance.
7. An assessment of the present state of regulation under EC law.


This module is at CQFW Level 7