FTC v. Wilhelmsen et al.

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In granting the FTC’s motion for preliminary injunction against a proposed merger, the judge relied on the expert testimony of Professor Aviv Nevo.

Retained by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission

A U.S. district judge granted the FTC’s motion for preliminary injunction against the proposed $400 million acquisition of Drew Marine Group by Wilhelmsen Maritime Services. Shortly thereafter, the defendants abandoned the transaction. Cornerstone Research worked with Aviv Nevo of the University of Pennsylvania, who testified during the hearing on behalf of the FTC.

“In sum, the court finds that based on Dr. Nevo’s testimony and other evidence, the FTC has demonstrated that the proposed merger will significantly increase concentration in the market.”

Professor Nevo analyzed the relevant antitrust market, evaluated barriers to entry, assessed the likely competitive effects of the merger, and responded to defendants’ arguments. Judge Chutkan cited Professor Nevo extensively in her opinion.

Relevant antitrust market

“Defendants’ expert…presented nothing to suggest that the methodology Dr. Nevo employed in arriving at his estimates was flawed…and did not present any alternative calculations or HMT results.”

Market concentration

“In sum, the court finds that based on Dr. Nevo’s testimony and other evidence, the FTC has demonstrated that the proposed merger will significantly increase concentration in the market for supply of [marine water treatment] products.”

Competitive effects

“[T]he court concludes that Dr. Nevo’s GUPPI analysis and merger simulation model strengthen the FTC’s prima facie case that the proposed merger will substantially lessen competition in the relevant antitrust market.”

Preliminary injunction

“The court finds on the basis of the entire record that the FTC has carried its burden to show a ‘reasonable probability’ that the proposed merger between Drew and [Wilhelmsen] would harm competition in the market.”

 


For more information on this case, contact Kostis Hatzitaskos or Brad Howells.

Case Expert

Aviv Nevo

George A. Weiss and Lydia Bravo Weiss University Professor,
Professor of Economics and Marketing,
The Wharton School and Department of Economics,
University of Pennsylvania;
Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economic Analysis, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice;
Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Research