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Introduction to European Competition Law


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. This course offers an introductory overview of the basic rules, principles, and procedures EU competition law relies upon to structure businesses’ market behaviour. To that extent, it first outlines the goals of EU competition law and the legal concepts relied upon to attain those goals. By emphasizing the need for ‘workable competition’ within the ‘internal market’, EU competition law establishes a level playing field in accordance with which businesses and Member States have to structure their activities in the marketplace. EU competition law in that regard distinguishes between rules directly addressing private market operators and rules structuring state intervention in the marketplace. In both instances, the EU – and most notably the European Commission – has been endowed with significant enforcement and sanctioning powers. The course subsequently addresses the different specific competition law rules in more detail. It distinguishes between the prohibition of collusive behaviour, the prohibition of abuse of a dominant economic position, the ex ante regulation of envisaged mergers and acquisitions, and the regulation of State interventions in the marketplace

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 evaluate to what extent particular market behaviour can be potentially captured by the EU competition rules.

Achievement levels
After completing this course, you will be able:

  • to demonstrate a good understanding of the function of EU competition law;

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

  • to identify the relevant substantive and procedural rules and apply them in simplified hypothetical and real-life case settings;

  • to develop a well-structured competition law analysis;

  • to independently find the most relevant case law and Commission decisions that help you develop a well-structured competition law analysis of a given problem.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 5

  • Names of lecturers: Dr. B. 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: to be announced

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

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • A written exam, counting for 80% towards the final grade.

  • A written assignment, counting for 20% towards the final grade.

Students failing 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. The 20% grade for the practical 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 practical assignment are no longer valid.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials


  • Sandra Marco Colino, Competition Law of the EU and the UK (8th edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2019)

Course information guide:

  • see Brightspace.


  • see Brightspace.


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.
You may register up to 5 calendar days before the first teaching session begins.

Contact information


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: European Law

  • Room number secretary: KOG, room B1.11

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

  • Telephone number secretary: 071-527 3596

  • Email: