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Loren K. Smith

Principal
Washington
Practice Co-Leader: Global Antitrust & Competition

Direct: +1.202.419.3354

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
Gene Therapy Product Acquisition

In June 2020, a biopharmaceutical company agreed to acquire a gene therapy research company’s novel late-stage gene therapy candidate for hemophilia B patients. In the FTC investigation that followed, Dr. Smith led a Brattle team in work demonstrating that little competition between the biopharmaceutical company’s gene therapy products would be lost through the proposed transaction. This work included a gene therapy adoption analysis that demonstrated the biopharmaceutical company’s incentive to market its products without delay. The transaction was cleared in April 2021.

High-Profile Hospital System Merger

Dr. Smith led the economic analysis of a merger of two major hospital systems, both of which were anchored by top academic medical centers. The high-profile merger was the focus of a year-long FTC investigation. Dr. Smith’s work demonstrated that, although the merging hospital system networks were adjacent to one another and competed to some degree in providing certain high-end services, any loss of competition would likely be minimal compared to the transaction’s efficiency benefits, which included cost reductions and quality improvements. The transaction was cleared without remedies in late 2020.

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 evaluating 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 would likely be overwhelmed by the merger’s benefits. After a lengthy investigation, the FTC cleared the merger without conditions.

Publications
Article
The Competitive Implications of Private Label Mergers
June 2021
Published in Antitrust Law Journal
Article
Understanding The Econometric Tools of Antitrust — With No Math!
Spring 2021
Published in American Bar Association's Antitrust Magazine
Article
Clarifying Bundle Markets and Distinguishing Them from Cluster Markets
February 2021
Published in the American Bar Association's (ABA's) Antitrust Source
Article
The Use of Econometrics in Merger Reviews
April 2020
Published in the American Bar Association Economics Committee Spring Newsletter
News & Events
July 09, 2021
Concurrences Recognizes Two Brattle-Authored Articles as 2021 Antitrust Writing Awards Winners

Two Brattle-authored articles have won the General Antitrust and Economics categories in the 2021 Antitrust Writing Awards. The winners were announced at the virtual Antitrust Writing Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, June 30.

June 21, 2021
Private Label Mergers: Brattle Principal Loren Smith Explores Competitive Implications in Antitrust Law Journal Article

Brattle Principal Loren Smith has coauthored an Antitrust Law Journal article titled “The Competitive Implications of Private Label Mergers,” exploring the relevant competitive effects and how they should be evaluated. 

May 12, 2021
Five Brattle-Authored Articles Nominated for the 2021 Antitrust Writing Awards

Five Brattle-authored articles have been nominated for the 2021 Antitrust Writing Awards, which are presented annually by Concurrences and the George Washington University Competition Law Center to honor the best in antitrust commentary. Brattle authors are up for “Best Articles – Business” awards in the General Antitrust and Economics subcategories.

April 29, 2021
Antitrust Investigations in Healthcare and Pharma: Dr. Loren Smith to Discuss Changes and Best Practices at ABA Roundtable

Brattle Principal Dr. Loren Smith will discuss 2021 antitrust enforcement priorities for the healthcare industry at an American Bar Association (ABA) roundtable sponsored by the ABA Litigation Section’s Health Law Litigation Committee and Antitrust Litigation Committee on Thursday, April 29 from 9:00–10:00 a.m. (PT) | 12:00–1:00 p.m. (ET).

March 10, 2021
Defining and Distinguishing Bundle Markets from Cluster Markets: Loren Smith Discusses in Antitrust Source Article

Brattle Principal Loren Smith has coauthored an article published in the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Antitrust Source discussing recent guidance on defining and distinguishing bundle markets from cluster markets in merger and antitrust cases.

February 24, 2021
Hospital and Health System Mergers: Loren Smith to Discuss at AHLA Webinar

Brattle Principal Loren Smith will discuss hospital and health system mergers at an American Health Law Association (AHLA) Education Center webinar, “Antitrust Enforcement Update on Hospital and Health System Mergers,” on Wednesday, February 24 from 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (PT) | 2:00–3:30 p.m. (ET).

January 12, 2021
GCR Names The Brattle Group as One of the World's Top Firms for Competition Economics

For the 14th consecutive year, Global Competition Review (GCR) has recognized The Brattle Group in the “Economics 21” list of the world’s top firms for competition economics.

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.