Bates White Partners Leslie M. Marx and Michael Whinston are two of the four honorees named by the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) as recipients of the 2016 Antitrust Enforcement Awards. They each received the award for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Economics.
Leslie M. Marx, PhD, Bates White Partner and Robert A. Bandeen Professor at Duke University, was recognized for her work on Carpenter Co. v. BASF SE/Woodbridge Foam Corp. v. BASF SE/Dash Multi-Corp v. BASF SE. In this matter, Dow and other producers of urethane chemicals were accused of agreeing to fix, raise, or stabilize the price of urethane chemicals from 1994 to 2003. Dr. Marx provided analysis on the issues of whether and to what extent the plaintiffs were overcharged as a result of the alleged conspiracy. The economic model she used related the prices of three chemicals to relevant noncollusive cost and demand factors; using that model, Dr. Marx estimated an overcharge on plaintiffs’ purchases. A $400 million settlement was reached during the trial following Dr. Marx’s testimony.
Michael D. Whinston, PhD, Bates White Partner and Sloan Fellows Professor of Management and Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received the award for his work in United States v. AB Electrolux, Electrolux North America, Inc., and General Electric Company. In this matter, Professor Whinston provided expert analysis for the Department of Justice’s challenge to the sale of General Electric’s major appliance business to its Swedish rival AB Electrolux. He analyzed extensive data, prepared three expert reports, and testified at trial. He opined that a merged GE/Electrolux entity would have a strong incentive to raise prices. In cross examination, Dr. Whinston explained that new entry or product repositioning, as was proposed by GE/Electrolux, was unlikely to counteract the incentive to raise prices. After four weeks at trial, General Electric withdrew its plans for the merger.
Drs. Marx and Whinston will be honored on November 9 in Washington, DC, at the AAI’s Annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference.
AAI is an education, research, and advocacy organization working to increase the role of competition, assure that competition serves the interests of consumers, and challenge abuses of concentrated economic power. This award recognizes achievements in antitrust litigation by legal practitioners and economists and is awarded on the basis of contribution to the development of antitrust-related economic methodology, analysis, or presentation and the positive development of antitrust policy.