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European and International Competition Law


Over the past 50 years, competition law and policy has, both at the level of the European Union (EU) and in all Member States, developed into a substantial body of law. In the EU it constitutes not only directly applicable Treaty rules but also a wide variety of substantive and procedural implementing measures. Internationally, similar rules apply in most countries as the fundamental goal of competition law - undistorted competition that allows for growth and innovation to the benefit of the many rather than the few - is sought after by all. Achieving this goal of undistorted competition requires an all-encompassing application of competition law to the entirety of all economic activities. This approach is confirmed where past and current practice covers an ever-growing spectrum of sectors. Whether cases concern the production or sale of bananas or cars, the distribution of music streaming or gaming apps, access to telecommunication and energy networks, charges for airport and seaports services, pharmaceutical and technological patents or the use of accumulated marketplace seller data - competition law is applicable, whether within or beyond the border of the EU, and infringements are becoming increasingly costly. In case of failure to comply, competition authorities may impose financial and structural remedies and block or reverse mergers. Beyond these forms of administrative penalties, private parties can launch damages claims against the infringing parties. For these reasons competition law rules are of immediate concern to business lawyers, to economists active in the area, to policymakers and management within the EU as well and in many other jurisdictions.

This course provides the participants with a solid basis for the practice of EU competition law which often resembles that of other jurisdictions. It covers the main areas of EU competition law (the prohibitions on collusive behaviour and abuse of dominance and merger control) from both a substantive and procedural perspective.

Europa Institute Steenschuur 25 2311 ES Leiden Phone: 071-527 7760 Website: Sheena Bruce, Phone: +31 (0)71 527 7821

**Lecturer(s): **
Dr. Ben Van Rompuy - Course Coordinator, Daniel Mândrescu, Prof. Tom Ottervanger and specialised guest lecturers.

** Course Objectives:**

Objectives of the course:
The objective of this course is to acquaint the students with the rationale of competition law and policy and to familiarize them with the basic rules, principles, and procedures of EU competition law.

Achievement levels:
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

Knowledge and comprehension:

  • Students can demonstrate an extensive understanding of the EU competition law framework and its function.

  • Students can explain and demonstrate knowledge of the main concepts of competition law including but not limited to: undertaking, restriction of competition, abuse, merger/joint venture, relevant market, and state aid.

  • Students can demonstrate a good understanding of the economic theory, which forms the basis of competition law practice, and the interplay between the two.


  • Students can identify the relevant substantive and procedural rules and apply them in hypothetical or real-life scenarios that practitioners and policymakers (may) face.

  • Students can apply the concepts of competition law and case law to traditional markets as well as digital markets.


  • Students are able to develop a well-structured competition law analysis for theoretical or actual cases

  • Students are able to critically discuss competition law cases and developments as well as the limits and functions of competition law enforcement.


  • Students are able to conduct high qualitative independent legal research in one or more of the areas of competition law which are known for their complexity.

  • Students are able to critically analyse the law for the oral exam.

Mode of Instruction:
Classes will consist of 11 interactive lectures/seminars. Students are expected to read the assigned readings and be prepared to discuss these materials in class.

Assessment Method(s):

  • Mandatory written group assignment must be completed with a passing grade in order to take part in the final examination of the course.

  • A written exam will count for 100% of the course grade. Students who fail the exam are entitled to sit a re-examination. Depending on the number of students failing the exam, the re-sit may take the form of an oral exam.

Reading List:

  • Course textbook: R. Whish & D. Bailey, Competition Law, 10th edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.

  • Relevant case law.

  • Specific literature: complementary literature to the textbook will be uploaded to Brightspace weekly.

Course Materials

  • Course Reader can be downloaded from blackboard

Course requirements

  • Master degree


  • Sheena Bruce, – Phone: +31 (0)71 527 7821

Currently these pages are being updated to reflect the courses for 2023 - 2024. Until these pages are fixed as per 1 September 2023 no rights can be claimed from the information which is currently contained within. Should there be any future extenuating circumstances which may impinge our teaching and assessment, these could necessitate modification of the course descriptions after 1 September. This will only happen in the event of strict necessity and the interests of the students will be taken into account. Should there be a need for any change during the course, this will be informed to all students on a timely basis. Modifications after 1 September 2023 may only be done with the approval and consent of the Faculty Board and Programme Director.