EI News and Notes

Judge Dismisses Antitrust Case

A judge recently dismissed an antitrust case against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Robert D. Stoner, EI Principal, testified at deposition on liability on behalf of the ILWU. The principal allegations by plaintiffs were that the 2008 collective bargaining agreement between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) constituted an anticompetitive agreement that prohibited plaintiff contractors affiliated with non-ILWU labor from bidding on crane maintenance and repair projects in West Coast container ports. Dr. Stoner’s analysis showed that plaintiffs had neither defined proper antitrust markets nor properly assessed present competition in those markets, that entry (and expansion) had occurred and was easy, and that any potential anticompetitive effects were far outweighed by efficiencies emanating from port automation that was contingent on the labor agreement. Dr. Stoner was assisted by EI Senior Economist Erica Greulich. The ILWU was represented by Leonard Carder LLP.

Ruling in Case Related to AIG Bailout

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the trial court’s liability ruling in a case where plaintiffs argued that the federal government acted illegally when it bailed out AIG in 2008. The case, Starr International Company Inc., et al. v. United States, was brought by former AIG CEO Maurice Greenberg on behalf of shareholders. The trial court ruled that the government was liable for illegal exaction, but that damages were zero because AIG equity would have been worthless without the government’s action. The appeals court vacated the liability ruling. EI Principal Jonathan Neuberger offered damages testimony on behalf of the government in the original trial in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

EI Named Leading Competition Practice

Global Competition Review (GCR) has again included Economists Incorporated in its annual survey of the world’s leading competition economic practices. GCR uses “a variety of criteria to select the consultancies, including size, visibility, historical pedigree, the presence of leading economists, and recent success.”