A Brief Analysis of Policy and Litigation


To our readers, friends, and colleagues, I am honored and excited to share the latest edition of Economists Ink with you.

The first article discusses the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) first guilty plea in a criminal no-poach antitrust case. The second article also addresses no-poach antitrust issues, with a discussion of recent decisions regarding the McDonald’s and Burger King class action cases. The third article pertains to sponsored search auctions (“SSA”) and analyzes the importance of seller and bidder information in online advertising auctions.

In the first article, Erica Greulich discusses the recent case in which VDA OC LLC (“VDA”) plead guilty to claims that it violated antitrust law by participating in an alleged scheme to limit the wages of nurses. Dr. Greulich discusses how the guilty plea, along with other efforts by the DOJ, may further increase the likelihood that the DOJ will pursue more labor-side antitrust investigations.

In the second article, Jonathan Walker considers two recent no-poach class action cases. Dr. Walker highlights how the District Court decisions in the McDonald’s and Burger King class action cases differed and discusses the Eleventh Circuit’s recent overturning of the District Court ruling in the Burger King case. Dr. Walker indicates that how the two cases will resolve is not yet clear, but economic analyses concerning market definition and market power likely will be important in the resolution of both cases.

In the third article, Panos Dimitrellos investigates whether an online platform could increase its revenues by providing advertisers who are bidding for slots with accurate information about the click through rate (“CTR”), and, if so, by how much. Dr. Dimitrellos analyzes Tripadvisor SSA data and finds that revealing the CTR would raise platform revenues by an average of seven percent.

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