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Dan O’Brien, former Senior Economic Policy Adviser and Deputy Director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission, joins Bates White Economic Consulting

July 22, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC—Bates White is pleased to announce that Dr. Daniel P. O’Brien, former Senior Economic Policy Adviser and Deputy Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Economics, and former Chief of the Economic Regulatory Section at the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, has joined the firm as a Partner in the Antitrust and Competition Practice.

Dr. O’Brien brings a wealth of experience in antitrust and consumer protection as a practitioner, researcher, and teacher. As Deputy Director for Antitrust at the FTC, he was responsible for overseeing the economic analysis in all of the agency’s antitrust investigations. He has led investigations across a wide range of industries, including mobile telephone and internet services, car rental services, retail products manufacturing and distribution, software, futures exchanges, banking, wholesale distribution, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, broadcast television, cable and satellite television programming and distribution, academic journals, aluminum manufacturing, and telecommunications, among others. He was awarded the Frances Walker Award for “rigorous and insightful analysis” contributing to numerous antitrust investigations at the FTC.  He has prepared as the testifying expert on several cases, including the FTC’s investigation of Hertz’s acquisition of Dollar-Thrifty (In the Matter of Hertz Global Holdings Inc.), and Nestle’s acquisition of Dreyers (In the Matter of Nestle Holdings Inc., Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Holdings Inc.) Working with clients and agency lawyers, he has helped numerous economic experts prepare testimony in cases across many industries.

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. O’Brien to Bates White,” commented Charlie Mullin, Bates White Managing Partner. “His years of experience at the FTC and DOJ were marked by his commitment to combining evidence with analysis firmly grounded in economics. This approach is consistent with the high intellectual standards cultivated at Bates White. His deep insight into competition enforcement not just in the US, but globally, will help us better serve our clients trying to navigate an increasingly complex and interconnected world.”

Dr. O’Brien has presented his research at numerous universities and conferences around the world. His widely published research, which has affected how antitrust agencies approach competition issues, includes: vertical restraints in environments with bilateral contracts, which illuminates conditions under which restraints can have pro-competitive and anti-competitive effects; how to properly apply critical loss analysis to assess market power and competitive effects; and partial ownership, which is used by antitrust authorities to analyze the competitive effects of joint ventures and partial acquisitions. His partial ownership work was also the first to explain the role of price pressure indices in analyzing the effects of partial or complete mergers between producers of differentiated products. His current research includes work on conditional pricing practices, cross ownership by institutional investors, and the economics of privacy and disclosure, all topics motivated by his work at the antitrust agencies.

Prior to joining Bates White, Dr. O’Brien taught economics at Northwestern, Michigan, Georgetown Law School, the University of Verona, Italy, and most recently the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, where he was a Visiting Professor of Business Economics. He has presented internal workshops on the economics of vertical restraints and horizontal mergers to economists at the FTC and DOJ. He has been a frequent adviser to and presenter before foreign antitrust and regulatory authorities, including those in the European Commission, South Korea, Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, and the Czech Republic.