ECS3830 - Competition and regulation - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Business and Economics

Organisational Unit

Department of Economics


Dr Tendeukayi Mugadza

Unit guides


South Africa

  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • Summer semester A 2017 (On-campus block of classes)
  • Summer semester B 2017 (On-campus block of classes)


This unit considers market structures, conduct and performance from the business perspective; economic policy as it affects horizontal and vertical relationships in business, particularly in relation to its dealings with consumers; the variety of approaches to competition and regulation policies from a South African and international perspective; analysis of policies with respect to prices, monopolies, oligopolies and mergers, consumer protection and licensing, deregulation, privatisation and nationalisation.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. recognise differences in market structures and understand how those differences affect firms' competitive behaviour and performance
  2. understand how and why competition causes changes in market structures by way of mergers, acquisitions, vertical integration and diversification
  3. explain the economic rationale for competitive weapons utilised by business in contemporary competitive environment, such as barriers to entry, pricing and advertising strategies, product differentiation, and innovation
  4. explain the rationale for regulation and merits of different theories of regulation
  5. explain the arguments for and against privatisation
  6. understand the main features of national competition policies in South Africa and other African nations compared to international experience
  7. critically evaluate attempts to affect competition in particular industries, e.g. electricity and telecommunications.


Within semester assessment: 40% + Examination: 60%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)



ECC3830, ECF3900, ECG3830, ECW3830, ECX3900