Joanna Tsai

Vice President


  • Washington


    • Cornell University, Ph.D.
    • Cornell University, M.A.
    • University of California, Irvine, B.A.

Joanna Tsai coheads Cornerstone Research’s merger investigations practice in Washington, DC. Dr. Tsai provides economic consulting and expert testimony in high-stakes mergers, acquisitions, and antitrust regulatory investigations. She brings nearly twenty years of experience in private practice, government, and academia to address a range of merger, antitrust, and competition issues. As an economic expert retained by merging parties for complex transactions, she has presented economic analyses and authored white papers and expert reports on proposed transactions before competition agencies in the U.S. and Europe, as well as in China and Brazil.

From 2013 to 2015, Dr. Tsai served as economic advisor to a Commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In that role, she advised on competition, intellectual property, and consumer protection issues, including those related to enforcement decisions, antitrust policy, litigation strategy, and rulemaking.

Who’s Who Legal has recognized Dr. Tsai as a Thought Leader among competition economists, and for four consecutive years named her a Future Leader in the competition field.

Antitrust merger reviews

Dr. Tsai has served as an economic expert in numerous mergers and joint venture transactions. She has extensive expertise in merger investigations, and has presented economic analyses before the FTC, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the European Commission, among others.

Dr. Tsai analyzes the competitive and economic implications of mergers and evaluates a variety of issues in this context, including potential unilateral effects, vertical effects, coordinated effects, potential and nascent competition, and market definition. Merging parties retain her to conduct pre-deal risk assessments for potential targets and deal structures, as well as to assist with advocacy in front of the agencies. Dr. Tsai also supports parties through second requests, front office meetings, and commissioner meetings. In Evonik’s acquisition of PeroxyChem, a matter contested by the FTC, she assisted the parties in closing the transaction through litigation.

Dr. Tsai’s industry experience for mergers includes agriculture and food, biotech and biosolutions, e-commerce and platforms, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, industrial gas, chemicals, consumer products, technology, retail (supermarkets, pharmacies), industrial product manufacturing, gaming and hospitality, and financial services.

Antitrust and intellectual property

Dr. Tsai has extensive experience consulting on the economic aspects of antitrust claims. She recently served as economic expert in a mediation between two major healthcare solutions companies, analyzing the competition implications of their licensing terms.

Dr. Tsai’s expertise includes matters involving DOJ allegations of anticompetitive conduct, notably in the technology sector. In a case involving DOJ claims of bid-rigging, Dr. Tsai led a team to assess the Agency’s allegations and demonstrated that the economic evidence was inconsistent with what one would expect to see had bid-rigging occurred.

Thought leadership

A frequent speaker on antitrust and intellectual property topics, Dr. Tsai presents at academic and industry conferences in the U.S. and internationally. She has published research in the Antitrust Source, the Antitrust Bulletin, Antitrust Magazine, and the Antitrust Law Journal. Dr. Tsai cochairs the Transportation and Energy Industries Committee of the Section of Antitrust Law of the American Bar Association (ABA). Previously, she cochaired the Section’s Mergers and Acquisitions and Economics Committees.

Dr. Tsai has served as faculty at Stanford University’s Hoover IP2 Summer Institute on the Economics and Politics of Innovation. As an adjunct professor at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law, she designed and taught a course on principles of economics for lawyers. Dr. Tsai has also held senior roles at several economic consulting firms.

Press Release

Cornerstone Research Named Among 2024 Outstanding Global Economic Consultancies


Q&A with Joanna Tsai


The George Washington University Competition Law Center and Crowell & Moring’s Fifth Annual Antitrust and Tech Conference


IBA 2023: International Bar Association Annual Conference

Press Release

Dr. Joanna Tsai Joins Cornerstone Research as Vice President