EI News and Notes

Economists Ink: A Brief Analysis of Policy and LitigationRequest for Large Fees Rejected

EI Vice President Laura A. Malowane submitted a declaration on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice concerning the legal fees the U.S. Government should pay Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), who had prevailed in a Freedom of Information suit. Dr. Malowane testified that the National Law Journal’s survey of the nation’s largest firms, which CREW had relied on, was not useful for estimating attorney billing rates outside the largest firms. She showed that the rates proposed by the Department of Justice were consistent with the prevailing rates charged by attorneys comparable to CREW’s counsel. The court accepted Dr. Malowane’s testimony that billing rates are not comparable across firms of all sizes and rejected CREW’s request for large fees.

Mergers in Electricity Generation

EI Principal John R. Morris led a team at EI that assisted in obtaining clearances from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice for three separate transactions involving electrical generation. One transaction combined generation assets owned by PPL Corporation with generation assets owned by affiliates of Riverstone Holdings LLC to form Talen Energy. Dr. Morris and the EI team also assisted with two acquisitions by Dynegy Inc. Dynegy acquired EquiPower and Brayton Point from Energy Capital Partners and acquired Duke Energy’s commercial generation assets and retail business. EI worked closely with Vinson & Elkins for the Talen transaction and with Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom and White & Case for the Dynegy acquisitions.

Jury Rejects Antitrust Counterclaims

EI Chairman Barry C. Harris testified in federal court in Denver on behalf of Inguran, LLC and XY LLC on antitrust liability issues and damages. Inguran and XY were rebutting antitrust counterclaims filed by Trans Ova Genetics, LC. Trans Ova alleged monopolization of markets related to artificial insemination of dairy cattle. Dr. Harris testified concerning market definition and presented evidence of declining prices and increasing sales of the products involved in the case. The jury found for Inguran and XY on all antitrust claims. EI economists Stephanie Mirrow and Michael Baumann worked closely with Dr. Harris. Inguran and XY were represented by Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.