Competition Law and Policy: Controlling Private Power

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Law
  • Application code SS-LL200
  • Starting 2019
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Competition law involves the use of legal tools to control the exercise of market power, in order to protect the competitive forces within the market. The competition rules present a powerful set of tools for both public and private enforcers to prevent and sanction harmful instances of private power.  From the issue of how to control the ‘Tech Giants,’ to the global fight against hard-core cartels, and the unresolved question of how to balance competition and innovation in merger assessment, competition law raises a unique array of important contemporary legal problems.

This course aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of what competition law entails, alongside the broader policy issues that it raises. Students will receive a comprehensive overview of the structure and substance of the EU competition rules, with comparative assessment of other competition systems (particularly that of the United States). We will examine both the current legal framework and the underlying competition policy considerations which have informed its application and development.  The aims of the course are to equip students with the knowledge and skills to understand, apply and furthermore critique the legal rules found in systems of competition law worldwide.

Session: Three
Dates: 29 July – 16 August 2019
Lecturer: Dr Niamh Dunne


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 200 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: One examination and one essay

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


Introduction to legal methods or equivalent.

Programme structure

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the discipline of competition law. Students can expect to obtain a detailed understanding of the EU competition system, alongside a comparative examination of the similarities and differences with the US antitrust law framework. Contemporary challenges within current competition law are identified and discussed throughout the course, and students are invited to consider the optimal scope of the competition rules within modern markets.

EU competition law is one of the most well established and well regarded systems of competition law (antitrust) in the world today.  At its core, the EU competition framework incorporates three key provisions:

  • Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (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;
  • The EU Merger Regulation (EUMR), which prohibits mergers and other concentrations which would significantly impede effective competition in the internal market. 

This course will engage in a systematic examination and assessment of each of these three areas of substantive competition law. Consideration will also be given to the distinctive and multi-faceted system under which EU competition law is enforced, variously, by the European Commission, the national competition authorities of the Member States, and the growing emphasis placed on private enforcement via antitrust damages actions brought by ‘private attorneys general’. Finally, students will be exposed to a range of ‘hot topics’ in contemporary competition law, with a particular emphasis on the antitrust issues posed by the Tech Giants.

Course outcomes

The aim of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to understand, apply and analyse the legal rules found in systems of competition law worldwide.

At the end of the course, students should have a good understanding of:

  • Key terms and concepts within competition law and policy;
  • The coverage of the three substantive competition rules found in EU competition law (Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, and the EUMR), with a comparative understanding of the equivalent rules found within the US system; and
  • The different legal frameworks by which competition law is enforced (public, private, criminal enforcement) and the implications that arise.

Throughout the course, in addition, students will be asked to think critically about the optimal scope and limits of competition law more broadly, in respect of the potential application of these rules to a range of contemporary market problems.


LSE’s Law Department is one of the world’s best. In the UK, it was ranked first for research outputs in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) and in the top 5 law departments overall by The Complete University Guide in 2018. In the 2017 QS World University rankings, the Department was ranked seventh (out of 200 departments worldwide).

Many important subjects were first taught and examined systematically from an academic perspective in LSE’s Department of Law. We pioneered the study of banking law, taxation law, civil litigation, company law, labour law, family law, aspects of welfare law, and studies of the legal system and the legal profession, and continue to be the leading thinkers in our field.

On this three-week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s law faculty.

Reading materials

The following are the core textbooks utilised on this course:

  • Whish and Bailey (2018) Competition Law (9th ed., Oxford University Press),


  • Jones and Sufrin (2016) EC Competition Law: Text, Cases and Materials. (6th ed., Oxford University Press)

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