Data-driven businesses systematically use customer information to improve processes, deliver new products, and provide a more customized experience for consumers. The collection and use of such data, however, can lead to allegations of privacy and security breaches, anticompetitive behavior, discrimination, and market manipulation.

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Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Donna L. Hoffman

Professor of Marketing,
Louis Rosenfeld Distinguished Scholar,
GW School of Business,
George Washington University

Donna Hoffman is a renowned expert in online consumer experience and behavior, including internet marketing, e-commerce, and online search. With deep expertise in quantitative psychology and marketing, Professor Hoffman has extensive experience with survey methods, both in her published research and consulting work. In particular, she has conducted surveys related to consumers’ perceptions of social media. Professor Hoffman also evaluates the impact of new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things, on the online retail market environment.

An experienced expert witness, Professor Hoffman has testified in multiple matters, including in two federal trials. Her testimony in these matters included evaluating and opining on issues relating to online consumer behavior, digital marketing, and the role of internet search in the purchase decision process.Professor Hoffman cofounded and codirects the Center for the Connected Consumer, an academic research center dedicated to understanding consumer experiences with AI and smart devices that are connected to the internet. She has consulted to major corporations on electronic commerce and digital marketing strategy, including FedEx.com, Intel, Lands’ End/Sears, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and Walmart.com. Professor Hoffman also served as a member of the Procter & Gamble Digital Advisory Board.

Professor Hoffman’s research has appeared in top academic and managerial publications, such as Marketing ScienceManagement Science, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Consumer Research, and the Journal of Consumer Psychology. She currently serves on the editorial boards of leading academic publications in the marketing discipline, as well as serving as an associate editor at the Journal of Marketing. She coedited the book Beyond the Basics: Research-Based Rules for Internet Retailing Advantage, and has coauthored numerous book chapters focused on consumer behavior in online environments.

Professor Hoffman has received many prestigious research awards, including the Society for Consumer Psychology Fellow Award; the Robert B. Clarke Educator of the Year Award from Marketing EDGE (formerly the DMEF); the Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award for long-term contributions to the marketing discipline; and the William O’Dell/Journal of Marketing Research Award for long-term research impact.

She has received media citations from Newsweek (as one of the 50 People Who Matter Most on the Internet), Advertising Age (as a Web Warrior), Internet World (as an Internet Hero), MicroTimes (as one of the MicroTimes 100), and San Francisco Webgirls (as one of the Top 25 Women on the Web). The New York Times called eLab, which Professor Hoffman cofounded, “one of the premiere research centers in the world for the study of electronic commerce.” The Wall Street Journal recognized the center as the “electronic commerce pioneer among business schools.”

Prior to joining the faculty at GW School of Business, Professor Hoffman taught at the University of California, Riverside; Vanderbilt University; the University of Texas, Dallas; and Columbia University. She has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, UCLA, and the University of Hong Kong.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Lorin M. Hitt

Zhang Jindong Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions,
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania;
Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Research

Professor Lorin Hitt is an expert in applied econometrics and the economics of information and information technology. He focuses on the role of information in consumer behavior, firm organization, and market structure.

Professor Hitt researches how information and technology create economic value, how goods and services are priced, how competition works in information intensive industries, and how consumers search and use information in their decision-making, among other topics. His academic research and teaching cover a variety of empirical methods used in economic research, including models for estimating demand and supply, pricing products, measuring the effect of external events on market prices, and valuing individual product features in differentiated products.

Professor Hitt’s research has been published in leading economics and management journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Economic PerspectivesBrookings Papers on Economic ActivityManagement Science, and Information Systems Research.

At the Wharton School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Professor Hitt has taught courses on competition and customer pricing, information systems management, the economics of technology, and data analysis. He has won the annual Wharton Undergraduate Teaching Award more than ten times, and has also been honored with the Wharton-wide Hauck Award and the University of Pennsylvania-wide Lindback Award for distinguished teaching.

Professor Hitt has been retained in numerous product liability, intellectual property, antitrust, and breach of contract cases. He has testified in several high-profile matters, including the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Litigation (Nemet et al. v. Volkswagen); Johannessohn et al. v. Polaris Industries Inc.Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn LLC v. Expedia Inc. et al.In Re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation; and Stragent LLC et al. v. Intel Corp. In Nemet et al., the judge dismissed the case, finding the plaintiffs’ analyses to be unreliable and inadmissible due to critical flaws that Professor Hitt identified.

In multiple product liability matters, Professor Hitt has analyzed the value of a product or product features. He has substantial experience addressing class certification and damages issues, including analyzing market price data and evaluating proposed damages methods such as hedonic price analyses, difference-in-differences regression analyses, and conjoint analyses.

Professor Hitt has also served as an expert witness in antitrust matters involving allegations of price fixing and collusion. In intellectual property matters, he has opined on patent damages and on methods to assess the value of alleged infringed product features.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Lesley Chiou

Laurence de Rycke Professor of Economics,
Occidental College

Lesley Chiou addresses the antitrust, privacy, and copyright implications of search engine and social media business practices. An expert in the economics of the internet, Professor Chiou focuses on consumer behavior, firm competition, and implications for government regulation of online markets. In these contexts, she has addressed vertical integration in search markets, content aggregation by platforms, the use of trademarks in online search, and the effects of digital advertising on consumer behavior.

Professor Chiou applies her econometric expertise to address various issues related to frictionless commerce, such as bidding behavior in internet auctions, the impact of paywalls on demand for online news, and consumer responses to pricing changes. In addition, Professor Chiou has analyzed competition between online and offline firms. Her industry expertise includes arts and media, consumer goods, and retail.

Professor Chiou presents her research in governmental and academic settings. She has spoken at the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission on topics related to competition in digital and print advertising markets. She has also participated in panels and presented her work at leading universities and conferences in the United States and Europe.

Professor Chiou’s papers have been published in the Journal of Economics and Management Strategythe Journal of Law, Economics, and OrganizationMarketing Science; and the Journal of Econometrics. She has coauthored working papers on search engines and data retention; how advertising on social networks can disseminate fake news; and internet access and inequality, among other topics.

At Occidental College, Professor Chiou teaches courses in econometrics and industrial organization. She has held visiting academic positions at UCLA and Boston University.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Jonah Berger

Associate Professor of Marketing,
The Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania

Jonah Berger is a renowned expert on word of mouth, influence, consumer behavior, and how products, ideas, and behaviors are shared and disseminated. Professor Berger analyzes the impact of digital and traditional marketing, as well as social media, on consumer behavior and product demand. He specializes in using sophisticated quantitative tools, such as natural language processing and automated content analysis, to gain behavioral insights from textual data. Professor Berger has also conducted hundreds of surveys, in both academic research and consulting matters. He has been retained as an expert witness and testified in deposition.

In his research, Professor Berger assesses how text in online reviews, customer service calls, press releases, marketing communications, and other interactions can be used to gain insights about the impact of marketing. He has also studied what makes certain online content go viral, the effects of negative publicity, and how assortment size influences brand perceptions and choice.

Professor Berger is the author of three bestselling books on consumer behavior: The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind (2020); Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior (2016); and Contagious: Why Things Catch On (2013). Amazon cited Contagious among its Best Business Books of the Year.

Professor Berger has published over fifty articles in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Consumer Research. His coauthored article “What Makes Online Content Go Viral?” won the Journal of Marketing Research’s William F. O’Dell Award for significant, long-term contribution to marketing theory, methodology, and/or practice. The American Management Association named Professor Berger one of the top thirty leaders in business. He has consulted to major tech firms, global retailers, and leading nonprofit organizations.

Professor Berger has served on the editorial boards of Marketing Science and the Journal of Consumer Psychology, among others. In the mainstream media, the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine’s “Year in Ideas,” and Harvard Business Review have covered his research.

At the Wharton School, Professor Berger has received multiple awards for excellence in research and teaching. He has taught courses on consumer behavior and marketing management; his course on viral marketing ranks among the most in-demand on Wharton Online.

Before joining the Wharton School, Professor Berger held visiting academic appointments at Cornell NYC Tech, Cornell University, and Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.

Digital Economy Capabilities

The importance of tech firms, big data, and the accelerating use of digital technologies in many industries has led to a range of emerging competition issues in the U.S. and abroad.

Cornerstone Research leverages significant experience in complex securities and asset management cases and applies it to issues specific to FinTech, blockchain technology, and consumer finance.

The sensitive nature and multiple uses of healthcare and pharmaceutical data have raised a number of concerns related to privacy, competition, bias, and intellectual property.

Technology intensive industries and big data applications present unique challenges—from patent thickets and licensing to trade secrets and artificial intelligence.

Firms are increasingly using algorithmic processes to help make business decisions. These changes have important implications for legal issues related to employment and discrimination.

Through innovative frameworks, advanced data analytics capabilities, and case experience, our staff and experts are equipped to address issues related to causation, impact, and damages in these novel matters.

Featured Publications

21 November 2022

The Price of Free

The authors discuss zero-price products and the procompetitive economic incentives for such pricing arrangements.

27 April 2022

Cornerstone Research Staff and Affiliated Experts Submit Comments to the Joint FTC-DOJ Inquiry on Merger Enforcement

The FTC and DOJ launched a joint public inquiry to solicit comments from the public on merger enforcement.

6 April 2022

Cornerstone Research Named in 2022 Matters of the Year in U.S. and Europe

Global Competition Review recognized Cornerstone Research for its economic work in Epic Games v. Apple and in EssilorLuxottica’s acquisition of Gra...

5 April 2022

Cornerstone Research Professional and Affiliated Expert Win 2022 Antitrust Writing Award

Lesley Chiou of Occidental College and Avigail Kifer of Cornerstone Research coauthored “Free Can Make Cents,” which was named Best Business Articl...

1 February 2022

Panel Summary: The Notorious B.I.G. Tech Platforms

This article provides a recap of a panel discussion on the consequences of proposed regulations of "gatekeeper" digital platforms for competition a...

19 January 2022

2022 Antitrust Writing Awards

Cornerstone Research staff and affiliated experts are nominated in Concurrences Review’s annual selection of leading antitrust and competition arti...

19 January 2022

SEC Cryptocurrency Enforcement: 2021 Update

Under the new administration, the SEC has continued its role as one of the main regulators in the cryptocurrency space.

19 January 2022

SEC Maintains Focus on Cryptocurrency Enforcement under Chair Gensler

New administration brings first-of-their-kind cryptocurrency enforcement actions.

15 December 2021

Platform Competition and the Regulation of Stock Exchange Fees

The authors discuss how platform competition economics has become an important part of the SEC’s framework for evaluating stock exchange fees.

24 November 2021

Economic Issues in Merger Analysis for Platforms

The authors use recent enforcement examples to discuss market definition, theory of harm, and efficiencies in merger cases involving platforms.

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