Competition law involves, essentially, the use of legal tools to control the exercise of market power by economic actors, in order to protect the competition forces within the market. The competition rules present a powerful set of tools for public enforcement agencies—and, indeed, private litigants—to prevent and sanction harmful instances of private power.
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the structure and substance of the EU competition rules, examining both the current legal framework and the underlying competition policy considerations which have informed its application and development.
At its core, the EU competition framework incorporates three key provisions:
Article 101 TFEU, which prohibits anti-competitive agreements and other forms of coordination between economic actors;
Article 102 TFEU, which prohibits the abuse of market power held by an economic entity which holds a dominant position in the market; and
EU Merger Regulation (EUMR), which prohibits mergers and other concentrations which would significantly impede effective competition in the internal market.
EU competition law is, moreover, enforced under a distinctive and multi-faceted system which involves centralised enforcement by the European Commission, decentralised enforcement by the national competition authorities of the Member States, and a growing emphasis on private enforcement via antitrust damages actions brought by ‘private attorneys general’.
This course aims to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the core rules and principles that underpin the EU competition system, alongside broader competition policy considerations. It does so through a systematic examination and assessment of each of these three areas of substantive competition law, as well as an exploration of the enforcement context plus the wider policy landscape. Although the course focuses primarily on the competition rules of the EU, comparative analysis to other jurisdictions—particularly the US—will be made where appropriate.
Throughout the course, emphasis is placed upon the crucial, and often controversial, question as to whether and when competition law should be deployed to control private power within the market and society more generally. The course thus aims to equip participants with both a strong technical knowledge of EU competition law and the ability to engage with and critique issues of competition policy.
World-class LSE teaching
On this three week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s law faculty.
LSE Law has excelled once again in the UK’s nationwide assessment of research quality, impact and environment. The Research Excellence Framework results published in December 2014 show that LSE Law is the UK’s number one law school for legal research.
The 2015 QS World University faculty rankings for Law also place the LSE in the world’s top ten for the subject, making it London’s best Law School.
Students are advised to acquire one or other of the following texts:
Whish and Bailey (2015) Competition Law (8th ed., Oxford University Press),
Jones and Sufrin (2014) EC Competition Law: Text, Cases and Materials. (5th ed., Oxford University Press)
*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme
**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice