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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 (which may exceed 1 billion euro), 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 aims and goals of competition law (lecture 1), the prohibition of collusive behaviour (cartels and similar practices) (lectures 2 and 3), abuse of a dominant economic position (lecture 4) and mergers and acquisitions (lecture 5) will be introduced and discussed throughout the course.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
You will:

  • understand the goals, aims and format of EU competition law

  • learn to differentiate between the different antitrust branches of EU competition law

  • know how to find and select relevant information about EU competition law;

  • learn to spot competition law issues in simple hypothetical cases;

  • learn how to read and dissect EU competition law cases;

  • apply particular analytical schemes when dealing with competition law problems.

Achievement levels
After completing this course, students will:

  • have a good understanding of the structure and nature of EU competition law; and

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

  • be able to understand the context and limits of EU competition law as an instrument of internal market regulation


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 5

  • Names of lecturers: M. Aalbers LL.M.

  • Required preparation by students: Students are expected to be familiar with the prescribed materials with a view to taking part in class discussions.


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 5

  • Names of instructors: M. Aalbers LL.M.

  • Required preparation by students: Students should read the assigned materials before the seminar 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.

  • Moot court (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 moot court 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 written exam or moot court are no longer valid.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the reader and the subjects taught in the lectures.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

Recommended course materials

  • Jones and B. Sufrin, EU Competition Law. Text, Cases & Materials (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 4th Edition, 2010); or

  • G. Monti, EC Competition Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007); or

  • V. Rose and D. Bailey (eds.), Bellamy and Child: European Union Law of Competition (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2013); or

  • R. Whish and D. Bailey, Competition Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 7th Edition, 2012).


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: B1.21

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

  • Telephone number secretary: 003171-527 3596

  • Email: