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Title: Competition law and the common law of unfair competition
Author: Ong, Burton T.-E.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Competition between trade rivals in a marketplace operating within a common law-based legal system is regulated primarily by two fairly distinct branches of the law: the prohibitions against anti-competitive conduct imposed by the competition law framework, and the common law restraints against acts of “unfair competition” that attract liability under the economic torts. This dissertation aims to critically examine both these legal frameworks and provide an integrated account of how these branches of the law distinguish between lawful and unlawful modes of competitive conduct. By scrutinising the doctrinal and policy foundations that underlie each of these legal frameworks, common thematic strands that may not be immediately apparent to lawyers working exclusively in either field will be exposed, while fundamental differences between their respective inner workings will also be uncovered in the process. Engaging in such a comparative exercise will facilitate a deeper understanding of the contrasting objectives and jurisprudential approaches associated with each legal framework which, in turn, sheds some light on the nature of their relationship with each other and the extent to which legal developments in one field ought to influence, or be influenced by, the other. Besides evaluating how and why the common law economic torts operate differently from the competition law prohibitions in circumscribing the liberty of individual competitors to inflict economic harm upon their trade rivals, this dissertation will also analyse selected types of commercial conduct which are regarded as lawful under one framework but unlawful by the other, and contrast them with scenarios which could attract overlapping legal liability under both legal frameworks. In addition, this dissertation will explore a selection of legal issues arising from the doctrinal interaction between these areas of the law that may confront the courts as these two legal frameworks continue to develop in tandem with each other.
Supervisor: Bagshaw, Roderick ; Weatherill, Stephen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Law ; Contract,restitution,tort ; competition law ; unfair competition ; economic torts