Charles River Associates
Charles River has worked on many complex cases throughout the US, Europe and elsewhere, and the firm remains a global powerhouse in the competition economics field.
CRA has 177 competition economists and works with 20 affiliated academics exclusively
CRA economist Carl Shapiro played a crucial role in helping the US Federal Trade Commission block the Staples/Office Depot merger
Lateral hires include former antitrust authority economists
|Global heads||Margaret Sanderson|
|Home jurisdiction||US, Europe|
|Total size of firm||493|
|Competition economists||177 employees, 20 exclusive affiliated academics|
|% of firm specialised||36%|
|Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees||39|
CRA continues to serve as one of the leading firms for competition experts and is involved in a number of complex and interesting cases in the US and abroad. The firm also had several notable hires over the past year, bringing on consultants with regulatory and industry experience: Lars Wiethaus, Dan Donath, Francesca Sala, Simon Chisholm and Jennifer Fish. CRA also promoted three people to principal last year: Konstantin Ebinger, Oliver Latham and Josh Lustig.
Perhaps the most notable case with CRA involvement in North America this past year was the firm’s support of the US Federal Trade Commission’s case to block the US$6.3 billion merger between office supply companies Staples and Office Depot. Senior consultant Carl Shapiro, with the support of other CRA economists, analysed the antitrust and competitive issues around the sale and distribution of consumable office supplies. Judge Emmet Sullivan of a Washington, DC federal court sided with the FTC and leaned heavily on Shapiro’s testimony on market definition, market shares, competitive effects and entry in granting the agency a preliminary injunction.
In Europe, CRA economists advised supermarket operators Ahold and Delhaize before the European Commission and, after a referral, Belgium’s Competition Authority. The team provided economic reports in support of the deal, analysing local competition between the parties and their rivals based on disaggregated sales, price and loyalty card data and on econometric analysis of the impact of Ahold’s recent entry. The Belgian enforcer eventually cleared the tie-up with some divestitures.