Experts in Antitrust and Intellectual Property

Competition Economics' professionals have been active participants in many of the major public policy debates involving regulated industries over the past several decades. Our experts are leading authorities in auction design and in energy and telecommunications policy. While we have special expertise in the network industries, we have also analyzed regulatory issues in many other industries, including those for banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals, and transportation.

Areas of Expertise

  • Auction Design and Bidding Consultation
  • Access Pricing and Interconnection  
  • Incentive Regulation
  • Market Power Studies for Regulatory Filings
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis 
  • Pricing and Rate Design (Ramsey Pricing/Peak Load Pricing)
  • Cost and Productivity Measurement 
  • Merger Analysis


Representative Cases

Market-Based Rates for Pipeline Storage Services
On behalf of an intrastate pipeline company seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to charge market-based rates for its natural gas storage services, we prepared testimony concerning its ability to exercise market power. In doing so, we defined the product and geographic markets relevant to the investigation, assigned market shares and measured supplier concentration, and identified other competitive factors relevant to the FERC’s decision. Our testimony was cited in support of the FERC’s decision, granting our client's request to offer market-based rates for its storage services.

FERC Rulemaking on Selective Discounting by Interstate Gas Pipelines
Two of our directors co-authored prepared testimony, on behalf of an interstate gas pipeline, that outlined the economic rationale in support of the FERC’s current discounting policy. That policy was challenged by a group of shippers. The FERC concluded that selective discounting is an integral and essential part of the Commission’s policies furthering a competitive natural gas transportation market. Citing our experts’ testimony, the FERC issued an order regarding its policy supporting selective discounting by natural gas pipelines.

Rules Governing Airline Computer Reservation Systems
On behalf of Sabre, Inc., we were retained in a U.S. Department of Transportation rulemaking proceeding concerning airline computer reservation systems (CRSs). In our report entitled Evolution of the Market for Air Travel Information we examined the economic consequences of proposed regulation on both independent and airline-owned CRSs. In developing recommendations, the report addressed the emergence of the Internet as an independent source of information about air travel and the increasing use of that channel to bypass traditional travel agents and CRSs.

Cable Access Pricing Issues in Australia
We were retained by a producer of content for pay television to assess proposals before the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regarding the pricing of access to certain cable services. Our experts examined the appropriate method for determining the price access seekers should pay for the provision of analog pay television carriage services provided via broadband cable, and the conditional access decoding services provided via set-top units.
Incentive Regulation Proposal for Air Traffic Control Services in the UK
We were retained by the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority to evaluate a proposal to adopt incentive regulation for air traffic control services. Currently, costs associated with these services account for a large portion of the total costs of air flights. Our report examined the economic theory related to price cap regulation and issues regarding the successful application of price caps to air traffic control services. The report also reviewed the performance of firms operating under price cap plans in other industries.

United States v. Exxon
Our expert provided expert witness testimony, on behalf of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, regarding the market value of natural gas for severance tax purposes. The testimony addressed issues relating to the determination of a "representative market or field price" for certain sales of natural gas by the Exxon Corporation in the 1970s.

Midwest Gasoline Price Investigation
Our economists assisted the U.S. FTC in its investigation into the causes of large increases in gasoline prices occurring in certain Midwest markets in the spring and early summer of 2000. One purpose of the investigation was to determine whether those price increases were caused in whole or in part by anticompetitive behavior.
Rule Changes in Electricity Generation Markets
We submitted testimony in response to tariff changes requested by the California Independent System Operator concerning the participation of Reliability Must Run (RMR) generating units in open markets. Our testimony before the FERC addressed the extent to which the pre-dispatching of RMR generation into the California Power Exchange day-ahead market would likely reduce "volatility" in the real-time market or exacerbate price spikes when real-time demand is higher than expected.

FERC Auction Proposal for Pipeline Capacity
On behalf of a major interstate pipeline, we submitted testimony to the FERC in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning a proposed auction of pipeline capacity. Our report concluded the proposal raised a number of difficult auction issues that had not been resolved, either theoretically or experimentally, by experts in auction design. Although the use of capacity auctions has promise for improving the performance of the natural gas industry, our experts recommended to the FERC that it should proceed cautiously, and avoid the creation of a deficient auction mechanism. The FERC agreed and chose not to implement the proposed auction.