The Brattle Group has experience and capabilities covering a full range of antitrust matters, including mergers and acquisitions, allegations of price fixing and collusion, and various forms of alleged monopolization and anticompetitive behavior, including exclusion, predation, bundling, tying, cost-raising strategies, contracts referencing rivals, and alleged facilitating practices.
Brattle experts, many of whom have worked for either the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), have the experience to quickly identify the key economic issues and develop the pertinent economic theories and empirical analyses. This enables us to help collect evidence in the pre-discovery stage, provide rapid response during discovery, and analyze the evidence so that it can be used in a persuasive presentation before the court.
Brattle has been involved in numerous high-profile antitrust matters in the payment card industry, involving interchange fees, nondiscrimination rules, foreign transaction fees, dynamic currency conversion, and other practices. We have analyzed efficiency benefits and competitive effects resulting from these practices, developed models to identify the underlying conditions required for either anticompetitive or procompetitive behavior, assessed market performance (including firm profitability), provided statistical analyses relevant to defining relevant product markets, and evaluated alleged damages. Brattle economists recently supported American Express in its successful defense against antitrust claims made by the U.S. Department of Justice and others involving its merchant agreements.
Economists at The Brattle Group assisted US Airways in its monopolization case against Sabre. The lawsuit pertained to alleged anticompetitive provisions in a contract between the two parties over the distribution of airline tickets. Brattle experts and Nobel Laureates Professors Joseph Stiglitz and Dan McFadden, provided expert witness testimony on liability and damages issues. Our work included an analysis of Sabre’s market power in the distribution of airline tickets and how the challenged contract provisions harmed both the airline and consumers. Most notably, we provided insight into the role of “two sidedness” in thinking about this market. In addition, our team analyzed millions of bookings on US Airways flights to assess the overcharges resulting from the challenged restrictions, based on the analysis of “but-for” prices. The 8-week trial in federal court ended in December 2016, and the jury ruled in favor of US Airways.
Brattle economists, including Professor Daniel McFadden, have been retained by plaintiffs to assess the effects of market allocation and ownership restrictions for a particular line of insurance in the United States. A consortium of insurers covers a significant fraction of U.S. consumers who receive private insurance in the United States. The member insurers, through their association, license their trademark by requiring members to sell insurance only in their exclusive service areas (ESAs). In this case, currently before the Federal Court, plaintiffs allege that because this arrangement prevents entry by one member of the consortium into the territory of another, it has stifled competition and as a result increased premiums paid by consumers.
Brattle economists and an academic affiliate have been engaged by a group of defendants in class actions brought by direct and indirect purchasers of technology components for use in electronic devices in the United States. Brattle is conducting an analysis of the class certification issues and any potential damages surrounding allegations of price-fixing by the technology component manufacturers.
For a leading automobile manufacturer, Brattle economists estimated collusive overcharges and the volume of commerce affected by collusion among suppliers of specified auto parts and components.
Complex business and legal matters require intellectually honest and analytically rigorous solutions that are thoughtfully developed and clearly communicated. We apply economic and finance principles with uncompromising quality to achieve clarity in the face of complexity. Independent analysis, responsive execution, and compelling presentation. That’s Brattle. That’s the Power of Economics.