Our clients rely on our staff and experts for objective assessments and clearly explained analyses. Our staff and experts provide economic expertise and analyses in the full spectrum of competition investigations under national and EU law.
Cartels and Horizontal Agreements
‘Horizontal’ co-operation agreements are between competitors at the same level of the supply chain. In these matters, we assess the economic incentives of the alleged participants, and test hypotheses that distinguish competitive from collusive behaviour. We assist on cases involving:
Anti-Competitive Vertical Agreements
‘Vertical’ co-operation agreements are between market participants at different levels of the supply chain. The European Commission’s Vertical Restraints guidelines accept that competition concerns can only arise from vertical agreements if there is insufficient competition at one or more levels of the supply chain, i.e. at the supplier and/or buyer levels. Moreover, vertical restraints are generally less harmful than horizontal restraints and may provide substantial scope for efficiencies.
We assist on cases involving:
Mergers and Acquisitions
We help clients navigate all stages of merger investigations, whether they are in front of national competition authorities, the European Commission or are subject to regulatory scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere.
Our experts’ deep knowledge of our clients’ markets supports relevant and robust economic and econometric evidence for investigations. Counsel also beneﬁt from our deep expertise of competition economics, accounting, data science and survey methods.
Conduct by Dominant Firms
Abuse of dominance cases may involve allegations of exclusionary or exploitative conduct by a dominant ﬁrm against rivals in the marketplace. Such exclusionary conduct may lead to harm to consumers through increased prices, less innovation and reduced quality.
Private Enforcement Actions for Damages
Private actions for damages can be stand-alone allegations of anti-competitive conduct or agreements pursued through the courts. Alternatively, they may ‘follow-on’ from a competition agency’s decision that a ﬁrm’s conduct amounted to an abuse of dominance or formed part of an illegal anti-competitive agreement.
Cornerstone Research experts have deep expertise in assessing both the substance of allegations in stand-alone cases and also, in particular, the quantum of competition damages in follow-on cases.
Market Investigations and Sector Inquiries
Our experts have deep experience of market investigations (sector inquiries). Speciﬁcally, we have worked to support clients in such cases in a number of jurisdictions including in front of the CMA in the UK and the South African Competition Commission.
In such cases, we work as expert economic and ﬁnancial advisers for parties subject to a market investigation. Doing so can entail a variety of roles including supporting external legal advisers providing economic advice to corporate boards, supporting in-house project teams managing the ﬁrm’s contributions to an inquiry, and developing expert economic submissions to help inform the competition agency’s evaluation.
Our role may encompass:
EU Member states sometimes subsidise undertakings on a selective basis. Such subsidies could take many forms including tax relief, guarantees, or providing goods and services on preferential terms.
State aid measures are those which affect trade between member states and, in particular, would distort competition by providing the recipient with advantages on a selective basis, for example to specific companies or industry sectors, or to companies located in specific regions.