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Dr. Smith specializes in applying economic and econometric tools to antitrust and competition matters, with a focus on horizontal and vertical mergers.

Dr. Smith has been the lead economic expert for both government agencies and private parties in regulatory investigations, federal merger challenges, and private litigations in numerous industries in the US and internationally. These industries include retail, healthcare, lodging, medical devices, and various consumer products and intermediate goods. He frequently advises clients on single-firm conduct investigations and litigations related to pay-for-delay, exclusionary conduct, and vertical restraints, including several healthcare litigations involving anti-steering contract provisions.

Prior to joining Brattle, Dr. Smith was an Executive Vice President at an international economics consulting firm, and prior to that worked at the US Federal Trade Commission as a staff economist. While at the FTC, he oversaw several high-profile merger and conduct investigations, supported litigations, and evaluated settlements. He also coauthored a report to Congress and provided technical assistance and training to competition agencies in South Africa, Brazil, and Hungary.

Dr. Smith has taught microeconomics and econometrics at the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University. His research is published in academic journals including Journal of Applied Econometrics, Economic Inquiry, and Journal of Economics and Management Strategy.

Representative Engagements
Pharmaceutical transaction analysis

Dr. Smith led a global team conducting economic and econometric analyses on a potential multi-billion dollar joint venture between two pharmaceutical manufacturers. Dr. Smith's analysis supported the proposed transaction, finding relatively little competition between the merging parties' products. The deal received clearance in multiple jurisdictions, including without second requests in the US. 

Plant-based protein food brand acquisition

Dr. Smith was retained by legal counsel in support of a transaction regarding the acquisition of a North American plant-based protein brand by another leading brand. The team's analyses provided evidence on the lack of significant competition between the merging parties' brands, retailers' ability to sponsor entry into the relevant markets, and consumers' willingness to substitute to other brands and product categories. US antitrust authorities cleared the acquisition in full without remedies. 

Analysis of likely competitive effects in hospital merger

Dr. Smith led a team in the evaluation of the likely competitive effects of a local hospital system's purchase of a hospital from a national hospital operator. Dr. Smith and his team demonstrated that, although two of the hospitals involved in the merger were across the street from one another, the services they provided were so dissimilar that they did not significantly compete. FTC staff agreed, and the merger was cleared without second requests. 

Merger of two factory-built housing companies

Dr. Smith led a team in conducting economic and econometric analyses related to a merger of two major factory-built housing companies. The team presented their findings that narrow relevant markets that would indicate potential harm were too narrow because significant alternatives would meaningfully constrain any ability of the merging parties to cause anticompetitive harm. The transaction received full clearance from US antitrust authorities. 

Successful defense of a monopolization summary judgement on behalf of a major healthcare system

Dr. Smith led a team of economists to support the lead economic expert in a healthcare company's appeal of monopolization claims leveled against it by a competitor. The expert used the results of a series of analyses to demonstrate that the healthcare company's negotiations with commercial insurers over prices and provider network designs were competitive, and that the complaining competitor had not been hampered in its ability to compete. The appeals court agreed, and affirmed a prior judgement in the client's favor. 

Global regulatory approval for hotel merger

In the context of a large hotel chain acquisition, Dr. Smith joined a global team of economists to assist in securing regulatory approvals in countries across several continents. Dr. Smith's team's analyses successfully showed that hotel and lodging competition would be robust in all geographies following the merger, and the merger was cleared in all jurisdictions. 

Merger of food service distributors

Dr. Smith led a team in support of the FTC's lead economic expert in determining whether the multi-billion dollar merger of two large food service companies would harm consumers in local and national markets. Their thorough analyses studied product market definition, geographic market definition, and competitive effects for national and local customers. The District Court ruled in favor of the FTC, granting a preliminary injunction, which effectively blocked the merger. 

Merger of two major health systems

Dr. Smith led a team in the evaluation of the likely competitive effects of the merger of major health systems. Dr. Smith and his team showed that pre-merger competition between the merging systems was modest and likely will be overwhelmed by the merger’s benefits. After a lengthy investigation, the FTC cleared the merger without conditions.

Publications
Article
The Use of Econometrics in Merger Reviews
April 2020
Published in the American Bar Association Economics Committee Spring Newsletter
News & Events
October 07, 2020
Brattle to Sponsor and Brattle Experts to Speak at Fordham Competition Law Institute Annual Conference

Brattle Director of Global Development James Keyte will moderate panels and Brattle will be a sponsor at the Fordham Competition Law Institute (FCLI) 47th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy, which will take place virtually October 7–9.

August 28, 2020
Who's Who Legal Recognizes 15 Brattle Economists as Leading Consulting Experts

Who’s Who Legal has recognized 15 Brattle economists as leading consulting experts in its global guides for: Competition Economists, Construction – Quantum & Delay, Financial Advisory and Valuation – Corporate Tax Experts, and Financial Advisory and Valuation – Quantum of Damages.

July 06, 2020
Who's Who Legal Recognizes Brattle Economists as Leading Competition Experts

Who’s Who Legal has recognized four Brattle principals, one Brattle associate and one Brattle academic advisor as leading experts in the competition field for 2020.

June 30, 2020
Loren Smith and James Keyte to Speak at Antitrust in Life Sciences Conference

Brattle Principal Loren Smith and Director of Global Development James Keyte will speak at the first webinar in a series for the Concurrences and Fordham University School of Law Antitrust in Life Sciences Conference, to be held June 30 at 9:00 a.m. (PT)/12:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (CEST).

May 13, 2020
Loren Smith to Discuss the Fundamentals of Economics at ABA Antitrust Section Webinar

Brattle Principal Loren Smith will join an American Bar Association (ABA) Antitrust Section virtual panel on economics fundamentals, which will take place on May 13 at 9:00 a.m. (PT)/12:00 p.m. (ET).

April 17, 2020
Loren Smith Coauthors Article on Econometric Analysis in Merger Reviews for the ABA Economics Committee Spring Newsletter

Principal Loren Smith coauthored an article in the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Economics Committee Spring Newsletter on the types of econometric analyses used in merger reviews to determine potential anticompetitive effects.

April 01, 2020
The Brattle Group Welcomes Leading Competition Economist Loren Smith

Competition economist Loren Smith joined The Brattle Group’s global Antitrust and Competition group as a Principal in its Washington, DC office and will lead the firm’s US mergers team.