The Competition Law and Economics Network is a network of people engaged in research, teaching and other activities in areas related to competition law and economics at the University of Melbourne. The Network has been established by the Melbourne Law School, but has members and encompasses activities from other University of Melbourne faculties - particularly the Faculty of Business & Economics and the Melbourne Business School. The Network thus reflects the interdisciplinary nature of this field of regulation.
- Director and Deputy Directors
Information about the key leaders of the Competition Law and Economic Network.View
Members of the Network are individuals affiliated with the University of Melbourne who contribute to the research and/or teaching activity of the University in relevant areas.View
- Key Advisors
The Network benefits from advice and support from key advisors who are senior members of the profession.View
- Graduate Researchers
The University's Graduate Researchers undertaking research at doctoral or masters level in competition law or economics-related fields are also associated with the Network.View
The Competition Law and Economics Network has engaged in research covering many issues which are of significance to Australians.
- Supermarket Power Project
A major research project on the regulation of the Australia retail grocery sector, being undertaken over the period 2015–2018, led by CLEN Direct Professor Caron Beaton-Wells.View
- Petrol Pricing Project
CLEN members have been involved in a research project funded by the Melbourne School of Government, relating to petrol pricing.View
- Cartel Project
Serious cartel conduct is taken to refer to four collusive practices between competitors - price fixing, market sharing, output restriction and bid rigging.View
- Useful Links
Useful links to a number of organisations.View
Graduate - Law (Melbourne Law Masters)
About the MLM program
The Melbourne Law Masters offers one of the world's largest programs in graduate law. It has 22 specialties, of which the Competition and Consumer Law speciality is one. Small class sizes (average 25) and high-calibre, intensive mode teaching by local and international experts ensures a challenging and rewarding learning experience. Enrolment is open to lawyers and non-lawyers (with suitable work experience).
- LLM (Global Competition and Consumer Law) - Fully online
- Master of Global Competition and Consumer Law - Fully online
- Master of Competition and Consumer Law - On campus with the option of taking online subjects
- Graduate Diploma in Competition and Consumer Law - On campus with the option of taking online subjects
- Graduate Diploma (Global Competition and Consumer Law) - Fully online
The Masters and Graduate Diploma courses in Competition and Consumer Law in the MLM program are the only specialist qualifications in competition and consumer law available in Australia.
Alternatively, students can enrol in competition law subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters program as single subjects (ie not towards a diploma or degree), either on-campus or online.
For more information on Competition and Consumer Law and the program generally, visit the website contact or the Director of Studies Professor Caron Beaton-Wells.
Learn more about our fully online global competition and consumer law masters program
See our VIDEO providing a course overview.
Graduate Law - (Melbourne JD)
Competition Law (JD)*
This is a highly sought after subject offered in the Melbourne Law School's JD optional programme. The subject is about the legal regulation of markets as a means of preserving and promoting competition in Australia. The subject focuses on the way in which anti-competitive practices are regulated under Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Students also learn about enforcement mechanisms as well as the roles played by regulatory authorities and the courts in enforcing provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act. While it canvasses the policy objectives and challenges of competition regulation, the subject is applied in its orientation in that it encourages students to explore the practical applications of the law in the context of real-life trade and commerce.
* OFFERED ANNUALLY
Undergraduate - Law (Melbourne Law Breadth)
The Melbourne Law School teaches a wide range of breadth subjects for non-law students in the University's undergraduate degrees. These include a subject on Competition and Consumer Law, taught by Law School Senior Lecturer and CLEN Deputy Director, Arlen Duke. Details are on the law breadth website here.
Undergraduate - Business & Economics
Economics of the Law (BCom)
This subject addresses the economic principles underlying various areas of the law and which are relevant to legal practice. Three main issues are studied. The first is competition law and consumer protection. The second is property rights, including intellectual property. The third main area concerns issues of damages and compensation. The course develops economic tools to analyse these legal issues. These include incomplete contracting, oligopoly analysis and incomplete information.
Introductory Microeconomics (BCom)
The objectives of the subject are to introduce new techniques of microeconomic analysis; and to study applications of microeconomic theory to a range of situations involving behaviour of consumers and firms, and market interaction. Topics include game theory and oligopoly, economics of information, behaviour under uncertainty and general equilibrium analysis.
Behavioural Economics (BCom)
Behavioural economics extends traditional economics by incorporating insights into human behaviour derived from psychology and sociology. The behavioural patterns studied in this subject include judgement biases, mental accounting, framing, loss aversion and anchoring, present-biased preferences, fairness, negative reciprocity and visceral influences. Applications of behavioural economics to both microeconomic and macroeconomic topics are considered, such as self-control, wage rigidity and involuntary unemployment, social capital and the equity premium puzzle. Research techniques emphasised in behavioural economics, such as experimental methods, are discussed.
Advanced Microeconomics (BCom)
An introduction to advanced microeconomics and to the economics of information and strategic behaviour. Topics covered include decision making under uncertainty, the interaction of primal and dual methods of modelling producer and consumer behaviour, the existence and welfare properties of general equilibrium, the theory of market failure and public goods, models of strategic behaviour in oligopoly, an introduction to game theory.
Industrial Organisation (BCom)
This subject provides an overview of selected topics in industrial organisation. Industrial organisation deals with the structure, management and performance of firms and markets. The main emphasis is on theoretical principles although there will be some discussion of empirical approaches. Topics covered include the theory of the firm, monopoly and durable goods, price discrimination, oligopoly pricing, product choice, dynamic price competition and tacit collusion, search and market intermediaries, signalling and limit pricing, product differentiation, advertising, entry and exit, research and development, and vertical relationships between firms.
For more information on Competition and Consumer Law and the program generally, visit the website or the Director of Studies Professor Caron Beaton-Wells.
CLEN network members organise a range of activities and events and also contribute to a variety of bodies, committees and associations in Australia and abroad concerned with the advancement of competition law and economics. CLEN events are intended for a wide audience, including practitioners, academics, and graduate students interested in these topics.
Our Events include:
- Annual Baxt Lecture – 2017 Baxt Lecture was held on 21 June 2017
- Discussion Groups – The next Discussion group will be held on 28 March 2018
- Overview Seminar
- ACLA Master Class
- Roundtable – Private Enforcement
- Australian Cartel Regulation Launch
- Hot Tub Video
Civil penalties for cartel conduct: An OECD Review of the Australian RegimeFor much of the early part of the last decade the focus of Australian competition law and enforcement has been on the introduction and implementation of criminal sanctions for individuals for cartel conduct, introduced in 2009. Almost ten years on, a critical review of civil penalties for companies is timely.News
George Da Silva is one of our many international students studying for his masters degree in the Global Competition and Consumer Law Program. Our students come from every corner of the globe and bring a diverse array of talent, experiences and perspectives to the student body who learn as much from as with each other. George shares his insights into what it is like to study online and how much he values the support he receives from the leading academics involved in the program.News
Read or listen here.News
Supermarket Power in Australia: Looking Back and Ahead symposium was held at the State Library of Victoria in October 2017. Click below to watch a short video of highlights.News
For lawyer Rowan Kendall, working in Brisbane, London and now Myanmar has been no barrier to completing Melbourne Law School’s Master of Competition and Consumer Law.News
Competition Law symposium at TC Beirne School of Law
The TC Beirne School of Law will host an international symposium on competition law ‘Cartels, Optimal Enforcement and Theories in Competition Law’ in Brisbane on 27 March 2018.News
A first of its kind Australian conviction of a Japanese company for cartel conduct shows reforms in this area of the law are starting to work and these cases can be prosecuted successfully.News
Established in 1967, the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was created to foster greater cooperation in economic and security affairs between its members. Fifty years later, MLS academics are playing a key role in helping the ASEAN states develop their competition and consumer policy and legal regimes, integral to achieving the region’s economic aspirations.News
Competition law and policy expert Jose Antonio Batista de Moura Ziebarth was a key architect of MLS’s first fully online masters program. For José, the importance of competition policy stems from its ability to impact people’s everyday lives.News
Louise Bell is a senior associate at Herbert Smith Freehills in Brisbane, Australia and her classmate Boniface Kamiti lives in Nairobi, where he is the Manager of Consumer Protection at the Competition Authority of Kenya.News
From the bar to the supermarket: Life as a competition lawyer.News
How Tacit Collusion Makes Consumers PayThe first study of its kind has revealed how petrol retailers can tacitly collude through their own price signallingBy Dr David Byrne, Centre for Market Design, University of MelbourneNews
Supermarket unconscionability – the difference two years can make. Professor Caron Beaton-Wells, University of MelbourneNews
This article appears in The Conversation, March 17, 2016.News
Professor Caron Beaton-Wells latest book - Anti-Cartel Enforcement in a Contemporary Age: Leniency Religion - was published in early September.News
Past Event Recordings
If you missed one of the thought-provoking speakers at Melbourne Law School, you may still catch their presentation online.
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Codifying supermarket-supplier relations: A report on Australia's Food and Grocery Code of Conduct*
*This report is accurate and reflects developments as at 1 September 2017
Download the complete report here.
Table of Contents
2. About this report
I. Research aim, questions and time frame
II. Research method
III. UK comparisons
IV. Structure of this report
3. About the Supermarket Power project
4. Warning signs
I. The ACCC Grocery Inquiry
II. Intensifying competition and external influences
(a) The Wesfarmers turnaround
(b) The Aldi incursion
(c) Vertical reverberations
(d) Macro aggravations
(e) Cultural shifts and UK influences
(f) Political rumblings
5. Immediate catalysts
I. A changing industry – the dairy sector consolidates
II. Dairy sector concerns become political concerns
III. One dollar milk hits the shelves, heralding yet another government inquiry
IV. The political dilemma – deny farmers or consumers?
V. The conundrum – but what do consumers truly want?
VI. Socio-cultural undertones and contradictions
6. Significant actors
I. The watchdog, watching and being watched: the ACCC
(a) Yet more public inquiries, yet more pressure on the ACCC
(b) A new leader at the helm
(c) The enforcer takes aim
(d) Harper gives grocery a free pass but goes not so easy on the ACCC
II. A small business man: the Small Business Minister
(a) Competition reform for small business – roots, branches and all
(b) Small business budget measures
(c) Effecting an effects test
III. A monitor and mediator: the AFGC
7. At the negotiating table
I. The (not so) round Roundtable
(a) Detailed but still flexible
(b) Prescribed but voluntary
II. Holding out: the NFF
III. Outside the tent: Aldi and Costco
IV. A bet both ways: Metcash, MGA and the IGAs
V. Behind the scenes: Billson
VI. Making it official: Treasury
(a) Codification as a way of doing business, both for industry and government
(b) Purposes and provisions
(c) Getting to ‘yes’
a) What’s the problem?
b) Why should government get involved?
c) So what are the options?
i. Option 1: do nothing
ii. Option 2: do what the Roundtable proposes
ii) Good faith
iii) Dispute resolution
iii. Option 3: do what the farmers want
8. In practice to date
I. Awareness and understanding
II. Using the Code
III. Exclusion of price
(a) Code confusion
(b) Cultural change and competitive pressure
(c) Continued political pressure?
9. Up for review and looking ahead
I. Trust and cooperation
II. Transparency and certainty
III. Effective, fair and equitable dispute resolution
IV. Good faith
Appendix A: List of interviewees
Appendix B: Template interview questionnaire