Photo of Nicholas D. Hill, PhD

Selected Industries

  • Airlines
  • Banking and financial services
  • Dairy
  • Gaming
  • Health insurance
  • Newspapers
  • Packaging
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Pulp and paper
  • Telecommunications

Nicholas D. Hill, PhD

Profile
News

Nicholas Hill is an expert in antitrust issues and has supervised or led investigations on matters in a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, airlines, health insurance, banking, oilfield services, paper, beer, dairy, and bread. He developed a capacity closure model that is now commonly used by the agencies and practitioners to analyze paper mergers.

Prior to joining Bates White, Dr. Hill served as assistant section chief in the Economic Analysis Group of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and was an Economist in the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission. During his time at these institutions he filled a wide range of roles, including that of economic expert.

Selected Experience

  • Managed the economics team on the Antitrust Division’s successful litigation to block the proposed merger between Aetna and Humana. Helped prepare the testimony and reports of the Division’s economic, industry, divestiture, and efficiencies experts.

  • Oversaw the economic analysis of the Antitrust Division’s litigation to block the proposed sale of slots at Newark Airport from Delta to United. The economic team used empirical analysis to support the proposed market definition (which defined Newark Airport as a separate geographic market), to measure the likely competitive effects, and to evaluate the parties’ efficiency claims.
  • Led the pre-litigation analysis of economic issues on the proposed merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes. This sprawling matter included a massive number of product markets, each of which had a unique story.
  • Managed the economics team on the Antitrust Division’s investigation into the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. A key area of focus was how increasing the size of an MVPD affects the fees that it pays to programmers. The team used a combination of empirical and theoretical analysis to answer this question and to answer the related question of whether large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can charge higher interconnection fees than smaller ISPs.
  • Provided economic analysis for three separate paper mergers: Abitibi-Bowater, Graphic Packaging-Altivity, and International Paper-Temple Inland. In the course of these investigations, developed the capacity closure model, which is a dominant-firm merger simulation. It weighs a dominant firm’s incentive to increase price by closing mills (i.e., the additional margin it can earn on its mills that remain open) against the cost of such closures (i.e., lost profits at the closed mills). The model requires only data that are commonly available in the paper industry and can easily accommodate the effect of efficiencies and competitor supply responses.
  • Analyzed competition on three separate investigations in the beer industry: Miller-Coors, InBev-Anheuser Busch, and ABI-Grupo Modelo. The InBev-Anheuser Busch matter led to the divestiture of the Labatt’s brand despite the fact that Labatt’s national market share was miniscule, a recognition of the economic evidence that beer markets are local (Labatt’s was popular in parts of upstate New York). Similarly, economic analysis supported the divestiture of the Grupo Modelo brands in the United States, and this was the outcome of the matter.
  • In United States v. Abitibi Consolidated, Inc., prepared and submitted declaration in a Tunney Act proceeding. Argued that the relief that the settlement the DOJ obtained in the Abitibi-Bowater case was in the public interest. Declaration cited repeatedly in the judge’s opinion, ruling in favor of the DOJ.
  • Prepared declaration analyzing the proposed merger between Jostens and American Achievement Corporation, two of the three largest makers of high school and college class rings. The Commission issued a complaint seeking to block the merger, charging that the proposed merger would likely be anticompetitive and lead to higher prices and reduced service. The parties abandoned their merger plans.
  • Analyzed funeral home and cemetery competition in dozens of markets around the country as part of the FTC’s investigation of SCI’s acquisition of Stewart Enterprises. Developed a simple tool for measuring funeral home concentration. This tool helped narrow the focus of the investigation to areas in which the merger would likely reduce competition. Worked closely with the parties to negotiate the divestitures that would be required to mitigate the transaction’s likely competitive effect.

Education

PhD, Economics, Johns Hopkins University

MsC, Quantitative Development Economics, University of Warwick

BA, Economics and International Studies, University of Warwick