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.