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European and International Competition Law


Over the past 50 years, Competition Law & Policy has, both at the level of the Union 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. All these rules are intended to prevent private entities as well as governments from intervening with the competitive process in the internal market. Internationally similar rules apply throughout over 100 countries as the goal of competition law is sought after by all, namely undistorted competition that allows for growth and innovation to the benefit of the many rather than the few. Achieving this goal of undistorted competition requires an all-encompassing application of competition law to the entirety of all economic activities within the internal market. This approach is confirmed by practice where past and current practice covers an ever-growing spectrum of sectors. Whether cases concern the sale of bananas, the licensing of PC operating systems, the access to telecommunication and energy networks, charges for airport and seaports services, pharmaceutical and technological patents or the new digital economy- competition law is always applicable, whether within or beyond the border of the EU, and infringements are becoming increasingly costly. In case of failure to comply with competition law Competition Authorities to impose financial and structural remedies, block or reverse merges and demand the recuperation of state aid. Beyond these forms of administrative penalties, private parties can also 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 policy makers 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. To that extent, the course first outlines the goals of competition law and economic theory behind such goals. Following this outline the course will cover the main aspects of the EU competition law framework from both substantive and procedural aspect. The main topics of the framework include the prohibitions on collusive behavior and abuse of dominance, EU merger control and the rules on state aid.


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

**Lecturer(s): **
Prof. Tom ottervanger

** Course Objectives:**

Objectives of the course:
The primary objective of this course is to provide students with profound knowledge and insight in the area of competition policy and law, as part of economic law, so as to enable students to apply these skills in dealing with both academic research questions as well as practical issues that practitioners and policy makers face.
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, cartels, abuse of monopoly power, merger/joint venture, state aid, 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 with which competition law experts are or maybe faced in light of recent developments in various fields.

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

  • Students are able to develop a well-structured competition law analysis for theoretical or actual cases as well as provide critique on pervious case law.

  • Students are able to develop a well-structured competition law analysis for real life scenarios that have not yet been subject to competition law scrutiny.


  • Students are able to conduct high qualitative independent legal research and demonstrate teamwork capabilities by preparing written assignment in one or more of the areas of competition law which are known for their complexity.

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

Mode of Instruction:
Students are expected to attend 10 interactive lectures and 2 study visits to a law firm/company/ national competition authority (depending on availability,)where they will also attend a lecture on the course material, during a period of 12 weeks. For every lecture and visit students have to prepare the mandatory reading and the cases in the reader or on Blackboard. During this period student are obliged to hand in several individual and group assignments, which are than reviewed in class.
Session 1: Introduction - Legal Session 8: State Aid
Session 2: Introduction Economics Session 10: Case study Energy and sports
Session 3: Horizontal relations Session 11: Case study online platforms
Session 4: Vertical relations Session 12: visit A&O/ Heineken / ACM
Session 5: Abuse of dominance
Session 6: Public and private enforcement
Session 7: Merger control

Notice* : The order of sessions 3-12 maybe subject to revision.

Assessment Method(s):

  • Mandatory written assignment the will count for 10% of the final grade for the course.

  • Final examination count for 90% of the course grade. Exam will be oral.

Reading List:

  • Course textbook: R. Whish & D. Bailey, Competition Law, 8th edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

  • Relevant case law- will be uploaded to Blackboard weekly.

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

Course Materials

  • Course Reader can be downloaded from blackboard

Course requirements

  • Master degree


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