Addressing High-Stakes Economic Issues
Agency experience

Our consultants and affiliated experts have experience working at or consulting for enforcement and regulatory agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.K. Competition Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and other agencies around the world.

Competition issues

Our staff and experts are at the forefront of using sophisticated econometric demand models and merger simulation tools to analyze the likely competitive effects of a merger and any proposed divestitures. We draw on qualitative and quantitative evidence from multiple sources to provide understandable, coherent, and robust descriptions of relevant geographic and product markets, competitive effects, and other factors.

Real-world evidence

Econometric models reinforced by qualitative evidence such as ordinary course of business documents and fact witness testimony can provide a basis for credible and persuasive expert testimony. Our experts are adept at incorporating such evidence, helping to ensure that their analyses are consistent with industry realities and the way the merging parties think about how their consumers make choices.

Big data and survey analysis

Cornerstone Research staff and experts regularly work with datasets containing billions of records. Clients frequently rely on us to compile large datasets from disparate sources and incompatible formats to address the economic issues that arise in mergers. We also have extensive experience in constructing surveys, analyzing market-based data, and critiquing survey methodologies.

Accounting issues

Our staff and experts with financial statement or accounting expertise can provide valuable input in merger challenges where parties assert efficiency claims or “failing firm” defenses. Such analyses can include assessment of merger specificity and verifiability of claimed efficiencies. Our experts have been asked to assess a target firm’s financial condition, the risk of its key assets leaving the market absent the merger, and whether the firm has made good faith efforts to elicit reasonable alternative offers.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Andrew Sweeting

Professor, Department of Economics,
University of Maryland, College Park;
Former Director, Bureau of Economics,
U.S. Federal Trade Commission

Andrew Sweeting is a former director of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) Bureau of Economics. An industrial organization economist, Professor Sweeting specializes in competition and antitrust, including merger analysis, applied econometrics, and structural modeling.

While at the FTC, Professor Sweeting oversaw many merger investigations conducted by the Agency, and was director when the 2020 Vertical Merger Guidelines were released. He was also involved in high-profile consumer protection investigations, including several related to digital platforms and data security. In addition to his tenure at the FTC, Professor Sweeting has served as an academic visitor at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Economic Analysis Group, and as an expert on the Academic Panel of the U.K. Competition Commission (now the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority).

Global Competition Review recognized Professor Sweeting to its inaugural list of the world’s most important antitrust academics. His wide-ranging research has analyzed the impact of mergers on prices, product variety, and product repositioning. He has also addressed collusion in wholesale electricity markets, the performance of different auction designs, dynamic pricing in online resale markets, and the effects of alternative copyright policies in the radio industry. In addition, he has researched the effect of government bailouts, how targeted advertising affects market structure and competition, and firms’ strategic use of pricing and capacity choices to influence future competition.

Professor Sweeting has conducted empirical research in a range of industries, including radio, television, advertising, consumer packaged goods, energy markets, online resale markets, transportation, and government procurement and timber auctions.

A widely published author, Professor Sweeting’s work has appeared in leading economics journals, such as Econometrica, the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, and the RAND Journal of Economics. He has been awarded several multiyear research grants from the National Science Foundation. In 2018, he received the Robert F. Lanzillotti Prize for the best paper in antitrust economics for a coauthored article on post-merger repositioning in the airline industry.

Professor Sweeting is a former editor of the Journal of Industrial Economics and a former foreign editor of the Review of Economic Studies. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a research fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).

In his more than two decades as an educator, Professor Sweeting has been honored numerous times for excellence in teaching. Before joining the faculty of the University of Maryland, he held positions at Duke University, Northwestern University, and St. Catherine’s College, Oxford.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Nathan Miller

McDonough School of Business and Department of Economics,
Georgetown University

Nathan Miller is an antitrust expert who consults on high-stakes merger investigations. His research covers industrial organization, finance, and regulation, with a focus on merger investigations, cartels, tacit coordination, and price discrimination. Professor Miller teaches courses to graduate students on strategic pricing, microeconomics, and firm analysis and strategy. Who’s Who Legal has recognized him as a “definite future leader” in the competition field. Global Competition Review recognized Professor Miller to its inaugural list of the world’s most important antitrust academics.

On behalf of the merging parties, Professor Miller analyzed the competitive effects, including upstream and downstream aspects, in the proposed $67 billion acquisition of Express Scripts by Cigna. He has also been retained as an expert witness in merger investigations brought by U.S. and international agencies. Professor Miller’s testimony on behalf of U.S. agencies includes retentions by the Federal Trade Commission to analyze US Foods Inc.’s proposed $1.8 billion acquisition of Services Group of America Inc., as well as Edgewell Personal Care Company’s proposed $1.37 billion acquisition of its competitor, Harry’s Inc.

As a former staff economist for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, Professor Miller assessed an array of complex mergers, notably Bazaarvoice/PowerReviews, AT&T/T-Mobile, and Ticketmaster/Live Nation. For analysis related to the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, he received the Antitrust Division’s Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Award.

Professor Miller’s research has appeared in journals such as the American Economic ReviewEconometrica, the RAND Journal of Economics, the Journal of Finance, and the Journal of Financial Economics. His 2022 coauthored article on market power trends was awarded the Industrial Organization Society’s Robert F. Lanzillotti Prize for the best paper in antitrust economics. Professor Miller also won the Lanzillotti Prize in 2015 for his paper on coordinated effects.

Georgetown University designated Professor Miller a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor based on excellence in research, teaching, and service. He serves as a senior policy scholar at the Center for Business and Public Policy at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

John Asker

Armen A. Alchian Chair in Economic Theory and Professor of Economics,
University of California, Los Angeles;
Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Research

John Asker is a leading expert in industrial organization and antitrust and competition economics. Professor Asker focuses on topics related to antitrust policy, cartel behavior, vertical restraints, auction design, firm-level productivity, industry subsidy effects, artificial intelligence (AI) pricing mechanisms, and cryptocurrency. He also has experience with issues at the intersection of financial markets and antitrust.

Professor Asker has testified in numerous high-profile matters, including mergers and civil litigation.

Professor Asker was retained by Amazon in its $8.5 billion acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which Global Competition Review named as 2023 Matter of the Year. Counsel for Meta retained him to assess competitive effects in the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) review of Meta’s $1 billion acquisition of Kustomer. He was retained by counsel for SoftBank and Sprint Corporation in the $26 billion T-Mobile/Sprint merger. Professor Asker provided written testimony to the World Trade Organization on behalf of the Canadian government in the U.S.–Canada softwood lumber dispute.

Professor Asker has served as an economic consultant to both federal and state regulatory agencies. In the AT&T/DirecTV merger, he served as an expert for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The U.S. Department of Justice retained him to evaluate potential competitive effects of the then-proposed merger between Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont. He has coauthored several amicus briefs presented before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate courts.

Professor Asker has provided testimony, in depositions and at trial, in multiple civil litigation matters. In EFN West Palm Motor Sales LLC v. Hyundai Motor America Corp. et al., a federal trial, his testimony on vertical relations between a manufacturer and dealers contributed to the jury ruling in favor of Hyundai and awarding no damages. Professor Asker has also testified in cases alleging exclusionary conduct, cartel behavior, price discrimination, and predatory trading. He has been retained in antitrust matters involving financial markets to address issues of alleged collusion and price manipulation.

Professor Asker has conducted extensive research on cartels, including their structure and operation, aggregate market power impact, related economic damages, and implications for antitrust policy. He has contributed research on cartels and collusion to leading economics reference texts, notably the Handbook of Industrial Organization. He has also published in leading journals on vertical restraints.

Professor Asker is an editor of the Journal of Political Economy. He has also held editorial positions at the American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, the RAND Journal of Economics, and the Journal of Industrial Economics. His research has been published in leading economics journals, including the Journal of Political Economy and the American Economic ReviewWho’s Who Legal has named Professor Asker as a leading competition economist, as well as a Thought Leader and Future Leader in the competition field. Global Competition Review recognized him to its inaugural list of the world’s most important antitrust academics.

Professor Asker teaches courses in antitrust policy, industrial organization, and strategy. He also speaks on antitrust topics, including to U.S. federal agencies, and has been a visiting scholar at the FTC’s Bureau of Economics, the Department of Economics at Harvard, and Yale Law School. Before joining the UCLA faculty, Professor Asker was an associate professor of economics at the Stern School of Business at New York University

Our extensive network includes top experts from academia and industry.

Gautam Gowrisankaran

Professor of Economics,
Columbia University;
Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Research

Gautam Gowrisankaran is an expert in industrial organization, healthcare economics, and energy and environmental economics. Professor Gowrisankaran has analyzed issues of market definition and market power, the competitive effects of mergers, and claims of attempted monopolization. He has also addressed allegations of tying, foreclosure, and other exclusionary practices arising in such industries as healthcare, consumer goods, high-tech products, payment services, and transportation.

An experienced expert witness, Professor Gowrisankaran has been retained by federal and state agencies as well as by private clients in numerous high-profile mergers, antitrust litigation matters, and consumer class actions. His trial testimony includes United States et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Change Healthcare Inc.; Sidibe v. Sutter Health; In re: Purdue Pharma L.P. et al.; and Federal Trade Commission v. Hackensack Meridian Health Inc. and Englewood Healthcare Foundation. He has consulted to the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice on matters involving airlines and mergers in the healthcare space.

In his research, Professor Gowrisankaran conducts both theoretical and empirical studies of topics related to industrial organization and competition. He has particular expertise in industries that are highly regulated and exhibit rapid technological change, such as healthcare and energy, as well as markets in which prices are negotiated.

One focus of his recent research is energy, including renewable energy generation and environmental regulation. Professor Gowrisankaran has also analyzed a variety of issues in healthcare markets, such as hospital competition, the impact of countervailing market power, hospital quality, and the price impact of hospital mergers. He has also analyzed competition issues in markets involving health insurance and accountable care organizations (ACOs).

A prolific author, Professor Gowrisankaran has published research in leading economics journals, including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, and the Journal of Political Economy. He has served on the editorial boards of several academic journals, including the American Economic Review and the RAND Journal of Economics. In addition, Professor Gowrisankaran has written analyses for a legal audience, including in the Antitrust Law Journal. He has been honored with best paper awards and recognized by Who’s Who Legal as a leading competition economist.

Global Competition Review recognized Professor Gowrisankaran to its inaugural list of the world’s most important antitrust academics. He was also honored in Lexology’s 2022 Client Choice list.

Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia, Professor Gowrisankaran was a tenured professor of economics and the Peter and Nancy Salter Chair in Healthcare Management at the University of Arizona. He has held visiting academic appointments at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Yale University, and Harvard University, among others.

Professor Gowrisankaran serves on the U.S. Congressional Budget Office Health Advisory Panel. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a research fellow at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

Merger Investigations Capabilities

Before a deal comes before the agencies, we provide merging parties with assessments of antitrust risks and strategies to address potential agency concerns. Consulting while the deal is being structured can help parties avoid costly and disruptive reviews.

For merging parties, it is important to understand the agency’s concerns and educate the agency on how the specific industry or market operates. If an agency is sufficiently concerned about harm to competition at the end of the initial review period to proceed to a second request, Cornerstone Research works with merging parties to respond to agency requests, including assisting with data and document production as well as providing analytical support for expert white papers or presentations to the agency.

Our credibility with the agencies enables us to communicate effectively on behalf of merging parties. We are also frequently retained by the agencies to offer independent opinions about whether a merger raises antitrust concerns.

On behalf of merging parties and U.S. government agencies, Cornerstone Research has supported testifying experts in some of the highest-profile merger review cases in recent years. We have the experience and skills to help counsel seamlessly transition to litigation and meet the compressed deadlines common in merger litigation.

With offices across the United States and in the United Kingdom, Cornerstone Research provides the expertise and capabilities to assist in mergers being reviewed internationally. Our affiliated experts have advised parties in merger proceedings before enforcement bodies throughout the world, including Europe, the United Kingdom, and China.

Assessing failing firm arguments from both the regulatory and merging parties’ perspectives enables us to provide insight into the rigorous demands of this defense.

Featured Cases

Featured Publications

19 September 2023

Cornerstone Research Staff and Affiliated Experts Submit Comments on the Joint FTC-DOJ Draft Merger Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division launched a joint public inquiry to solicit comments from the public...

27 July 2023

Antitrust Economics at a Time of Upheaval: Recent Competition Policy Cases on Two Continents

Cornerstone Research professionals and affiliated expert contributed chapters on recent mergers.

27 July 2023

Recent Advances in Economic Methodology for Coordinated Effects

This Antitrust Chronicle article discusses methodologies for reviewing coordinated effects.

11 July 2023

Merger Enforcement Considerations: Implications for Venture Capital Markets and Innovation

The authors discuss how M&A is a critically important exit option for venture capitalists and the innovative firms that they fund.

26 April 2023

Chris Lau and Joe Podwol Join Cornerstone Research

New hires from Federal Trade Commission and Antitrust Division of U.S. Department of Justice bring valuable antitrust, competition, and mergers exp...

29 March 2023

Five Minutes with Dr Anca Cojoc

In an interview with Competition Law Insight, Dr Cojoc discusses her arrival at Cornerstone Research and emerging challenges in the European compet...

14 March 2023

Gregor Langus Joins Cornerstone Research

Leading competition expert expands the firm’s European capabilities.

28 February 2023

If You Build It, They Will Come: Building an Efficiencies Case

The authors provide an overview of the opinion in United States v. Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA et al., and insights stemming from the decision to exc...

15 December 2022

Selected Research and Writings of Aviv Nevo

The authors discuss Aviv Nevo’s research on contemporary merger review, as well as his writings on antitrust policy and regulation.

21 October 2022

Public’s M&A Comments Hold Clues for Agency Guidelines

The authors identify key areas of interest in comments that members of the public submitted to the FTC and DOJ.

How can we help you?

For more information or assistance with a specific matter, please contact us.