The module studies monopoly industries: the sources, creation and exercise of monopoly power and the principles and practice of monopoly regulation.

The module starts by examining decision-making of the monopoly firm, covering pricing and non-price behaviour, and examines welfare implications of these practices. Creation of monopoly power through merger and monopolisation is considered next. The concept of a natural monopoly is defined and its relevance across a range of industries is explored. Turning to regulation of monopoly, the module focuses on difficulties arising from the asymmetry of information between regulator and firm, exploring how price controls may be applied in this context. Finally the module discusses liberalisation and the role of industry structure. The issues are illustrated with examples from competition cases and monopoly regulation in the UK and other jurisdictions.

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the many aspects of monopoly behaviour and the problems these raise for regulatory policy. Upon completion of the module students should be able to: formulate and analyse the decision-making of a monopolist; assess the welfare effects of these decisions; describe the difficulties faced by a regulator in controlling these behaviours; explain the role of industry features and structure; discuss the process of liberalisation; and illustrate these problems with examples from real-world industries.

Students who successfully complete the module will gain the following employability skills. Academic skills are enhanced through essay-writing, mathematical problem-solving and the use of ICT. Students are encouraged to carry out research and information gathering for term papers and as background reading. External awareness is promoted through real-world case studies and learning about regulatory institutions and behaviour. Opportunities to develop professional working skills, including teamwork and presentation skills, are provided through student debates.