Merger Investigations

High-stakes mergers and acquisitions require rigorous economic analysis to address complex competition issues. We work with merging parties, third parties, and enforcement agencies at all stages of U.S. and international merger reviews.

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.

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.

Enforcement Agency Review

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.

Trial Experience

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.

International Experience

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.