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Introduction to European Competition Law


Please note that the following description of the course is only provisional and therefore subject to change.

Admission requirements

Evident basic knowledge of European law.


Over the past 50 years, EU competition law has developed into a substantial body of law, comprising directly applicable rules that are of immediate concern to business lawyers and management. In doing so, EU competition law supports the creation and functioning of the internal market. Compliance with EU competition law has become extremely important. Undistorted competition stimulates innovation, promoted growth and competitiveness and leads to consumer welfare. Infringements of EU competition law can lead to high fines, damages claims and/or criminal sanctions. Reflecting the importance of EU competition policy, this course will provide you with an opportunity to become familiar with the main features of the EU competition rules, case law and practice of EU competition law.
In this course, an introductory overview of the most important branches of EU competition law will be offered. A particular focus will be put on the so-called antitrust rules. The goals of competition law, the prohibition of collusive behaviour (cartels and similar practices), abuse of a dominant economic position and mergers and acquisitions will be introduced and discussed throughout the course.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The objective of this course is to introduce students to the basic rules, principles and procedures of EU competition law and to equip them with the necessary skills to resolve simple hypothetical and real life competition law cases.

Achievement levels
After completing this course, students will:

  • have a good understanding of the function of the EU competition rules;

  • be able to explain the main concepts relied upon in EU competition law (undertaking, restriction of competition, abuse of a dominant position, relevant market);

  • be able to identify competition issues in simple hypothetical cases and develop a well-structured competition law analysis arguing in favour of a case solution;

  • be able to systematically read EU competition law cases and recognize the essential parts; and

  • be able to independently find relevant EU decisional practice, case law and policy documents.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 5

  • Names of lecturers: Dr. Ben Van Rompuy

  • Required preparation by students: Students are expected to be familiar with the prescribed materials.


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 5

  • Names of instructors: Dr. Ben Van Rompuy

  • Required preparation by students: Students should read the prescribed materials and are required to prepare the exercises.

Other methods of instruction

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam (80%), open questions, primarily case questions; depending on the number of students in the course, the exam may take the form of an oral exam. This will be communicated in due course.

  • Written assignment (20%).

Students failing the exam are entitled to sit a re-examination. Depending on the number of students failing the exam, the re-sit may be either a written exam or may take the form of an oral exam. The 20% grade for the written assignment will remain valid for the re-sit. If you have not passed the course by the end of the academic year, partial grades for the exam or written assignment are no longer valid.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading for the course, as well as all subjects discussed during the lectures and seminars.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials
Reader: to be announced on Blackboard.

Recommended course materials

  • Jones and B. Sufrin, EU Competition Law. Text, Cases & Materials (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 6th Edition, 2016); or

  • R. Whish and D. Bailey, Competition Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 8th Edition, 2015).


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.
Exchange students have priority and will be registered for the course first. Any remaining seats will be available for students from Leiden University and other Dutch Universities.

Contact information


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: European Law

  • Room number secretary: KOG, room B1.21

  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00

  • Telephone number secretary: 071-527 3596

  • Email: