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.

View Selected Experts

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).

In his wide-ranging research, Professor Sweeting 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.

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

Aviv Nevo was formerly chief economist at the Antitrust Division at the DOJ, where he advised on merger, as well as civil and criminal, investigations. He led the division’s Economic Analysis Group of over sixty Ph.D. economists and statistical analysts. Professor Nevo has been retained as an expert by the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and private firms in cases related to antitrust merger review, conduct investigations of dominant firms, and antitrust and other litigation matters.

Professor Nevo testified as the U.S. government’s economic expert in the proposed $37 billion merger between health insurers Aetna and Humana in 2016, and in the proposed $400 million acquisition of Drew Marine Group by Wilhelmsen Maritime Services in 2018. He has analyzed competitive effects for merging parties in numerous matters, including Cigna/Express Scripts, Walt Disney/21st Century Fox, Big Tex Trailers/American Trailer Works, and Commercial Metals Company/Gerdau S.A.

Professor Nevo’s academic work lies at the intersection of industrial organization, marketing, and econometrics. He is a pioneer in using data to analyze consumer preferences and decision making. He has published extensively on methods that can be used to assess market power and mergers, particularly in the context of differentiated products. His research includes studies of consumer packaged goods, retailing, real estate brokerages, healthcare, and telecommunications.

Professor Nevo is the director of the Wharton Competition and Policy Initiative. He currently serves as a coeditor of Econometrica and previously served as a coeditor of the RAND Journal of Economics and editor of the Journal of Industrial Economics. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society, and is a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Who’s Who Legal has recognized Professor Nevo as a leading competition economist and a Thought Leader in the competition field. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley; Northwestern University; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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.

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 an expert in antitrust and competition economics. He has testified as an expert witness and served as an economic consultant and advisor to both federal and state regulatory agencies.

Professor Asker conducts research related to antitrust policy, cartel behavior, vertical restraints, auction design, firm-level productivity, and the effects of industry subsidies. He also has expertise at the intersection of financial markets and antitrust.

Professor Asker was retained by counsel for SoftBank and Sprint Corporation in the $26 billion T-Mobile/Sprint merger. The U.S. Department of Justice retained him as a consulting expert to evaluate potential competitive effects of the then-proposed merger between Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont. He served as an expert for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in the matter of the AT&T–DirecTV merger. He has coauthored several amicus briefs presented before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate courts.

Professor Asker has 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.

Professor Asker has taught graduate-level courses in antitrust policy, industrial organization, and strategy. He also regularly lectures on antitrust topics, including to U.S. federal agencies, as part of the American Bar Association’s continuing legal education programs, and as a participant in academic conferences. Professor Asker has been a visiting scholar at the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Economics, the Department of Economics at Harvard, and Yale Law School. Before joining the faculty of UCLA, he was an associate professor of economics at the Stern School of Business at New York University.

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.

Failing Firm Defense

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

22 June 2022

Cornerstone Research Experts in Focus: Craig Malam

Dr. Malam speaks about his experience as an economist advising on merger reviews for both the agencies and merging parties.

8 June 2022

A Look at the Public’s Divergent Views on New Merger Guidelines

The authors synthesize the comments submitted to the agencies’ RFI and outline possible paths forward for merger enforcement.

31 May 2022

Evolving Antitrust Analysis of Hospital Mergers

The authors discuss how differences between patient and insurer perspectives could create "cross-market" effects.

19 May 2022

Intersection of Intellectual Property and Competition Policy in Recent Cases

The authors discuss high-profile cases in the EU and US that concern IP rights and competition policy.

2 May 2022

Craig Malam Joins Cornerstone Research

Respected mergers expert adds international expertise and wide-ranging experience to the firm.

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.

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.

12 November 2021

Cornerstone Research Experts in Focus: FTC Withdrawal from U.S. Vertical Merger Guidelines

This podcast brings together former economic leaders from the FTC and DOJ to provide their insights into the FTC’s decision and future iterations o...

12 August 2021

A Tale of Two Sides: Sabre/Farelogix in the United States and the U.K.

The authors discuss the differing conclusions of the U.S. and U.K. courts in the proposed Sabre/Farelogix merger.

9 August 2021

Evaluating Innovation Theories of Harm in Merger Review: Economic Frameworks and Difficulties

The authors discuss recent life science cases that deal with innovation theories of harm, and what economic models can be useful in reviewing propo...

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