EI News and Notes

Economists Ink: A Brief Analysis of Policy and Litigation

TransCanada defeats price discrimination and other claims

EI Principal John R. Morris testified before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on behalf of TransCanada Energy Ltd. TransCanada sold electric energy to the California Energy Resources Scheduling (CERS) division of the California Department of Water Resources. California alleged that TransCanada sold at excessively high and discriminatory prices and seriously harmed the public interest. Dr. Morris explained that TransCanada’s prices to CERS were similar to prices it received from others and consistent with supply and demand conditions. Moreover, TransCanada’s sales to CERS were too small to have seriously harmed the public interest even if one accepted California’s other claims. The Administrative Law Judge denied the California claims. EI economists Keith Everhart, Lona Fowdur, Gale Mosteller, and Su Sun assisted Dr. Morris. Dr. Morris worked with attorneys at Andrews Kurth on the matter.

EI Economists Contributed to Antitrust Section Econometrics Book

EI economists contributed to several chapters of Econometrics: Legal, Practical and Technical Issues (Second Edition), recently published by the American Bar Association (ABA) Antitrust Section. Allison I. Holt and Su Sun worked on Chapter 4, “Collecting Relevant and Useful Data.” Henry B. McFarland, Philip B. Nelson and David D. Smith worked on Chapter 13, “Applying Econometrics to Address Class Certification.” Erica E. Greulich worked on the Appendix, which provided a primer on basic statistical concepts and regression analysis, and the glossary of technical terms.

Patent Infringement Damages

Thomas R. Varner’s article “Is the Nash Bargaining Solution an Adequate Basis for Patent Infringement Damages?” was published in IPLaw360 on April 21. Some experts have recently used the Nash Bargaining Solution, a concept from economic game theory, as the basis for calculating patent infringement damages. Courts require that estimates of damages, including patent infringement damages, be based on sound economic principles. As the article describes, the Nash Bargaining Solution must overcome significant challenges before it meets this requirement.