EI News and Notes

Economists Ink: A Brief Analysis of Policy and Litigation

FTC Agrees to Modify El Paso Consent Decree

The FTC agreed to modify a consent decree that arose from the El Paso Energy Corporation’s (“El Paso”) 2001 acquisition of the Coastal Corporation. The FTC agreed to change certain provisions of that decree because changed circumstances implied that those provisions were no longer necessary to assure competition among offshore natural gas pipelines. EI Principal Philip B. Nelson and Vice President Henry B. McFarland assisted the law firm of Vinson & Elkins in persuading the FTC to modify the decree.

Investigation of Copyright Protection Policies

EI Principal Stephen E. Siwek guided a comprehensive inspection of the copyright protection   policies of the Nantong home textile markets. His findings were recently incorporated in a World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) sponsored report entitled “Study on the Impact of Enhanced Protection in the Development of the Textile Market in Nantong, China.” Mr. Siwek has been instrumental in furthering the global efforts of WIPO to encourage nations to measure the economic contribution of copyright-based industries. He also has been closely associated with the development of the WIPO Guide for the measurement of copyright industry contributions.

 Testimony on Damages for Storing Spent Nuclear Fuel

EI Principal Jonathan A. Neuberger recently testified in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on behalf of the Department of Justice in the caseDetroit Edison v. United States. The hearing, which took place one year after the main trial, focused on expert testimony involving issues related to plaintiff’s claim for financing-related damages associated with costs it allegedly incurred to store spent nuclear fuel (SNF) at its Michigan nuclear power plant. The fuel had to be stored due to the Department of Energy’s delayed acceptance of SNF from the nuclear utility industry. A decision in this case is still pending.