LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor:
Dr Antonio Bavasso
Dr Ioannis Lianos
Other Teachers:
Professor Valentine Korah
Professor Damien Geradin (Covington & Burling)


The aim of the module is to study EU competition rules and practice in an economic context. The module will analyse the fundamental provisions of EU competition law in particular Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the EC Merger Regulation and will be case-law focused. We will also take a comparative law perspective and we will provide examples from cases in other major non-EU jurisdictions (such as the United States, China, Japan) as well as some EU Member States' jurisdictions (e.g. the UK, Germany, France) that highlight the specificity of the European approach in competition law. This is particularly important as EU competition law has served as the main model for many other competition law regimes in the world. A thorough understanding of all areas of EU competition law will provide students from other jurisdictions a valuable perspective on their own competition law regimes.

The course is taught by a leading academic and a leading practitioner with a significant experience in the public and private enforcement of competition law. Guest lecturers from policy and practice will also provide an interesting practice-oriented perspective.

The module will cover vertical and horizontal agreements, abuses of market power, merger control policy and practice.

Having successfully completed the module, students will be able to demonstrate a critical knowledge of substantive issues in EU competition law with particular focus on:

  • vertical and horizontal agreements
  • abuse of dominant position
  • merger control law and policy


1. Introduction to Competition law and policy:

  • Origin of EU competition law
  • Aims and key concepts
  • Competition law and public policy
  • Consumer Welfare vs Total Welfare Efficiencies

2. How do economic concepts fit in legal system? (I) Distinction Article 101 and Article 102

  • What is a concerted practice
  • Can a dominant position be held or abused "collectively"
  • Exploitation vs foreclosure

    The two tier approach in Treaty provisions
    Restriction 101(1) and efficiency 101(3)
    Dominance and abuse

3. Market definition and Market Power

4. How do economic concepts fit in legal system? (II)

  • De minimis rule and hard core restrictions
  • The use of "rule of reason" and block exemption safe harbours
  • Effect on trade concept

5. How is EU Competition Law enforced under Regulation 1/2003

6. Cartels

  • What is naked cartel? (use of lysine tape)
  • Enforcement powers
  • Fines
  • Leniency programmes

7. Oligopoly under EU Competition Law

  • Concerted practices under Article 101
  • Exclusionary practices by oligopolists under Article 102
  • Information Exchanges

8. Horizontal agreements; and Article 101(3) justifications

9. EU Merger Regulation

  • Framework
  • Test
  • Full function JVs
  • Counterfactual
  • Standard and Burden of Proof

10. Horizontal Mergers (I)

  • Unilateral effects

11. Horizontal Mergers (II)

  • Coordinated effects
  • Efficiencies
  • Remedies

12. Introduction to abuse of dominance

  • Market definition as tool
  • Dominance as a filter
  • Unilateral foreclosure vs Exploitation
  • Proof of foreclosure and defences

13. Unilateral practices: predatory and selective pricing

14. Unilateral practices: single branding, rebates

15. Unilateral practices: refusal to supply, refusal to license and margin squeeze

16. Unilateral practices: tying and bundling

17. Non-Horizontal mergers

18. Vertical agreements, distribution practices and EU competition law

19. IP, Innovation and licensing

Background Reading (optional):

  • Whish & Bailey, Competition Law (7th edition, Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • Lianos & Geradin (eds.), Handbook in European Competition law: Substantive Issues (Edward Elgar, 2013)

And as an economic supplement:

  • Niels, Jenkins and Kavanagh, Economics for Competition Lawyers (OUP, 2011)

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment in September.

Delivery and enrolment
Lectures/Seminars: 20 x 2-hour seminars
Tutorials: Yes (5)
Previous module enrolments: Medium – 16-50 students
Who may enrol: LLM students, Other UCL Masters students
Prerequisities: None
Barred module combinations: LAWSG098 US Antitrust Law and EU Competition Law: A Comparative Perspective
Core Module for LLM specialism: Competition Law, European Union Law, Law and Economics
Final Assessment: 3-hour unseen written examination
Practice Assessment: 1500 word practice essay
Other Information
Prizes: Valentine Korah Prize for Excellence in Competition Law - Awarded to the best candidate specialising in competition law and chosen by the Valentine Korah prize committee.

This page was last updated on 28 July, 2014


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.

Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014

The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.

The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.