EI News and Notes

Directed Verdict in Robinson-Patman Case

EI Chairman Barry C. Harris was the economic expert for Argos USA during a Robinson-Patman litigation in federal court in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Plaintiff Spartan Concrete Products alleged that Argos had provided a competitor of Spartan’s an illegal 10% volume discount in its purchase of cement. Spartan was seeking damages of between $6.3 million and $8.8 million. Dr. Harris submitted an expert report that concluded that Spartan had not demonstrated injury to competition and that its damage estimates were flawed and not reliable. Judge Gomez ruled that Spartan had not met the necessary elements of proof and granted Argos’ motion for a directed verdict. Kent Mikkelson and Lona Fowdur worked with Dr. Harris. Argos was represented by McGuire Woods LLP.

STATACorp Adopts Econometric Techniques

Econometric techniques for productivity analysis developed by EI Vice President Kevin Caves and his co-authors in academia have recently been integrated into STATA, a leading statistical software package used globally by economists and empirical analysts. A recent STATA journal article explains that its new e-class command implements the method of Ackerberg, Caves and Frazer (2015, Econometrica 83: 2411-2451). Productivity analysis has a wide range of applications, including the measurement of scale economies in high-fixed-cost industries, quantifying the benefits of investing in new technologies, and various antitrust applications.

Study on Broadband Networks

EI Principal Hal J. Singer and Ed Naef and Alex King of CMA Strategy Consulting author a study, “Assessing the Impact of Removing Regulatory Barriers on Next Generation Wireless and Wireline Broadband Infrastructure Investment.” This study evaluates the impact of the FCC’s recent efforts to remove barriers to investment into next-generation wireless and wireline broadband networks, and thereby to accelerate the transition from legacy copper networks to next-generation services.