News and Notes

Clearance for Energy Transfer’s Acquisition of Enable Midstream Partners

On December 2, 2021, Energy Transfer LP (“ET”) and Enable Midstream Partners, LP (“ENBL”) completed their previously announced merger, in which ET acquired ENBL. The Federal Trade Commission had issued a Second Request for additional information and documentary material, which extended the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period. Managing Director Dr. John R. Morris and his SE team worked with Latham & Watkins, LLP, and Vinson & Elkins LLP to secure clearance for this transaction.

Dr. Jéssica Dutra Presents on Vertical Integration at the 2021 Southern Economic Association Conference

Associate Director Dr. Jéssica Dutra presented her joint research with Dr. Gregory Leung on Applied Law & Economics of Marijuana at the 2021 Southern Economic Association Conference in Houston, TX. Dr. Dutra and her co-author’s research studies the impact of distinct vertical integration laws between wholesalers and retailers in adult-use legalized states.

Dr. Robert Arons Appointed Economics Editor with ABA Section of Antitrust Law

Associated Director Dr. Robert Arons was appointed as the newest editor of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Media and Technology E-Bulletin. Dr. Arons is the economics editor for this bi-weekly update published by the ABA Section of Antitrust Law.

Dr. Keith Waehrer Addresses Loss of Privacy and Free Online Services in Recently Published Paper

A paper by Managing Director Dr. Keith Waehrer titled Is Loss of Privacy the Price that Consumers Pay for Otherwise Free Online Services? was published in the CRESSE Special Edition of the January 2022 Competition Policy International (CPI) Antitrust Chronicle.

Commentators point to the loss of privacy as one of the consumer harms from monopoly online platforms. However, some view serious difficulties in bringing actions when the anticompetitive effect relates to quality instead of price. In the article, Dr. Waehrer argues the difficulties in analyzing competition over quality are likely easier to overcome than most think.

The January 2022 CPI Antitrust Chronicle includes articles based on presentations from the Special Policy Sessions (“SPS”) organized by CRESSE in collaboration with CPI in September 3-5, 2021. The contributions include articles by several prominent economists and legal experts.

Read the Paper

Dr. Su Sun’s Article Selected for Concurrence Antitrust Writing Awards

Managing Director Dr. Su Sun‘s co-authored article The Draft Fining Guidelines and the Future of Antitrust Fines in China, published in the Journal of Antitrust Enforcement in 2021, has been selected for the Concurrences Antitrust Writing Awards 2022 for the Academic Articles category in the “Procedure” subcategory.

In the article, Dr. Sun and Dr. Chenying Zhang of Tsingua University apply the formula for calculating fines proposed in China’s draft antitrust fining guidelines to data on historical non merger case decisions issued by China’s antitrust agencies.

Read the Paper

AT&T Leads Bidders in $22.5B US Spectrum Auction

Secretariat Economists Managing Director Dr. Allan Ingraham, Associate Directors Shreyas Ravi and Chris Sojourner, and Senior Associates Gabriel Perez and Katherine Senseman provided strategic advice to AT&T for its participation in Auction 110, which offered 100 MHz of mid-band 5G licenses in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band.

AT&T won the most spectrum in the auction, acquiring the maximum allowable portfolio of 40 MHz in every market across the continental U.S. Furthermore, AT&T was the only bidder to acquire a uniform nationwide portfolio.

This auction allowed AT&T to improve its already strong mid-band position, and at prices significantly lower than last year’s C-band auction. AT&T is well positioned for 5G deployment, with the most consistent nationwide portfolio across all 5G bands.

The Secretariat Economists auction team has advised AT&T in all major spectrum auctions since 2014, including all the mid-band and mmWave auctions for 5G. The official results files from the auction and the announcement of winning bidders and prices are provided by the US Federal Communications Commission’s auction site here.

Visit the FCC Auction Site