EI News and Notes

Robert Arons Joins EI

Senior Economist Robert A. Arons recently joined EI’s Washington DC office. Prior to joining EI, Dr. Arons was a staff economist with the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (“DOJ”). While at DOJ, Dr. Arons provided econometric and theoretical analysis in support of market definition and competitive effects in a wide range of industries, including cable and satellite television, broadcast television, health insurance, hospital conduct, agriculture, paper storage, cloud-based platforms, and software as a service. Dr. Arons earned his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.

Paper on Changing Entry Conditions in the Electric Power Industry

Principal John R. Morris, Senior Economist Jéssica Dutra, and Energy Analyst Tristan Snow Cobbs’ paper “Should Market Power Still Be a Concern in the U.S. Electric Power Industry” is being published in the May 2020 issue of The Electricity Journal. The paper examines entry into new generation supply in the United States. The authors find that entry into new generation is typically small scale and accomplished by companies with below average market shares, and this construction of new generation meets the likely, sufficiency, and timeliness standards in the Horizontal Merger Guidelines.

EI Economists Participate in Panel Discussion at the Department of Labor

Senior Vice President Michael DuMond and Principal Robert B. Speakman participated in a panel discussion at the United States Department of Labor with representatives of the National Industry Liaison Group and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Drs. DuMond and Speakman suggested several improvements to the OFCCP’s methodological approach to analyzing potential compensation disparities, as outlined in Directive 2018-05.

EI Economists Submit Comments on Draft Vertical Guidelines

EI Principals Lona Fowdur and John R. Morris submitted comments on the Draft Vertical Merger Guidelines. Dr. Fowdur and Dr. Morris recommend that more clarity on transactions that are unlikely to be anticompetitive and those that are likely to be anticompetitive would benefit both the business and legal communities. They also propose eight specific recommendations, including better delineated market share thresholds, use of market power pressure indices, and the reinstatement of regulatory evasion as a potential theory of harm.