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Summary

Nicholas Hill is an expert in antitrust issues and has worked on matters in a wide range of industries, including banking, chemicals, healthcare, pulp and paper, software, and telecommunications. He has served as an economic expert for private clients, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He has testified in federal court and the FTC’s administrative court. He developed the capacity closure model, which is now often used by the agencies and by practitioners to analyze mergers in commodity industries with high fixed costs of production. Prior to joining Bates White, Nicholas served as assistant section chief in the Economic Analysis Group of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, where he received the US Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, and was an economist in the Bureau of Economics at the FTC.

Education

PhD, Economics, Johns Hopkins University

MsC, Quantitative Development Economics, University of Warwick

BA, Economics and International Studies, University of Warwick

SPOTLIGHT

Nicholas recently testified in two courts on behalf of the FTC in the agency’s litigation over the proposed merger between Tronox and Cristal, two leading suppliers of chloride-process titanium dioxide. Read more

Selected Work

Selected Experience

Agriculture

  • Retained in 2019 by a private client to provide analysis and testimony about an alleged agricultural output withholding conspiracy.
  • Analyzed fluid milk and school milk competition in the Antitrust Division’s litigation to undo Dean Foods’ acquisition of the Foremost Farm milk-processing assets.

Chemicals

  • Testified in two courts in 2018 on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission in the agency’s litigation over the proposed merger between Tronox and Cristal, two leading suppliers of chloride process titanium dioxide. The FTC prevailed in both courts.

  • Retained by Ensco and Rowan, two offshore drilling firms, to provide economic analysis of the likely effect of their proposed merger on rig provision in the US portion of the Gulf of Mexico.

Consumer products 

  • Analyzed competition on three separate Antitrust Division investigations in the beer industry: Miller-Coors, InBev-Anheuser Busch, and ABI-Grupo Modelo.
  • Provided economic analysis of competition in the sliced bread market for the Antitrust Division’s investigation of the merger between Grupo Bimbo and Sara Lee Bakery Group.
  • Prepared declaration for the FTC analyzing the proposed merger between Jostens and American Achievement Corporation, two of the three largest makers of high school and college class rings.
  • 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.
  • Provided economic analysis on the FTC’s investigation of Pinnacle’s acquisition of Ameristar’s casinos. Summarized the economic aspects of the investigation before the full Commission. 

Healthcare 

  • Provided an antitrust risk assessment in 2018 to a major hospital system considering whether to submit a bid to acquire another hospital system.
  • 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. 
  • Analyzed the acquisition by Novartis of GSK’s oncology drugs and GSK’s acquisition of Novartis’s vaccine division (excluding influenza assets) for the FTC. 
  • Provided economic analysis for the FTC of Sun Pharmaceutical’s acquisition of Ranbaxy Laboratories. Both firms manufactured generic drugs for sale in the United States. 

Media

  • Retained by Pandora in 2018 to provide economic analysis related to its acquisition by Sirius XM. The analysis focused on issues of cross-ownership. The Antitrust Division approved the merger without issuing a second request.
  • Analyzed the proposed merger of two newspapers on behalf of the Antitrust Division in 2017. The merger closed without a second request being issued.

Pulp and paper 

  • Retained by KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation to provide analysis of the likely competitive impact of its proposed acquisition by WestRock. The merger closed without conditions in 2018.
  • Provided economic analysis for the Antitrust Division on three separate paper mergers: Abitibi-Bowater, Graphic Packaging-Altivity, and International Paper-Temple Inland. 

Retail banking 

  • Retained by First Financial and MainSource in 2017 to provide competitive analysis in conjunction with their proposed merger. The merger was approved with conditions.
  • Led the economic analysis of all banking matters before the Antitrust Division while an Assistant Section Chief, including the mergers of Huntington-First Merit and KeyCorp-First Niagara. Also oversaw the economic analysis of the merger between subprime lenders Springleaf and OneMain.

Software

  • Retained in 2019 to analyze the proposed merger of two firms that provide software solutions to healthcare providers. The merger closed without conditions.
  • Retained in 2018 by a private client to provide an antitrust risk assessment of a potential acquisition.
  • Led the Antitrust Division’s economic analysis of Change Healthcare’s 2017 acquisition of McKesson’s claim processing assets.
  • Spearheaded the Antitrust Division’s economic analysis of the merger of Nuance and Loquendo, two speech-to-text providers.

Telecom 

  • Managed the economic analyses on the Antitrust Division’s investigations into a number of high-profile proposed mergers, including (1) Comcast and Time Warner Cable, (2) Charter and Time Warner Cable, (3) ARRIS and Pace, and (4) Century Link-Level3.

Transportation 

  • Retained in 2017 by Siemens and Alstom, two global railroad industry firms, to analyze the likely competitive impact in the United States and Canada of their proposed merger.
  • 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 team won a US Antitrust Division Award of Distinction.
  • Oversaw the Antitrust Division's economic analysis on a number of matters involving cranes, trailers, and trucks . 

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