Within the field of competition law, merger control has attracted special attention. The reason for this attention can be found in the special nature of mergers as a business phenomenon, especially when compared with other business phenomena, such as abuse of dominance by firms or cartel activities. The process of relentless globalisation which has been developing since the 1990s has meant that merger operations can produce an effect on the conditions of competition in more than one jurisdiction. This means that, quite inevitably, regulatory approval in more than one jurisdiction may need to be sought. Such a consequence – as is widely accepted – can give rise to uncertainty for the firms concerned and cause huge expense and significant delay. Those who are involved in advising business firms in a merger situation are also not immune from the uncertainty when merger operations have to be notified to more than one competition authority. Often legal advisors have to answer extremely difficult questions in merger cases, such as whether notification of the merger to the competition authorities in one or more jurisdictions is necessary or mandatory or even desirable; which authorities need to be notified; what is required for this purpose and how to go about notifying the authorities concerned; and how will the authorities assess the merger, including any relevant time framework within which they will operate and ultimately reach a decision in a given case.
The Module will aim at a thorough examination of the highly important phenomena of international mergers and their regulation worldwide. Different merger control regimes worldwide and their operation will be an important part of the focus in the Module.
The Module will be taught in a very practical manner, to reflect the very nature of the topic. A highly interesting range of case studies and the knowledge and expertise of practitioners in the field will be a key aspect of the course. The Module should prove to be attractive for students attending other competition law courses and those with an ‘international’ dimension in other areas of commercial orientation on the LLM.
3.15 hour examination