GAMES Econ provides economic analysis in allegations of anticompetitive agreements and cartels.
GAMES Econ experience in matters involving allegations of anticompetitive agreements includes alleged price fixing cases, agreements to allocate territories or customers, group boycotts and information exchanges. We have also analyzed potential anticompetitive effects of various horizontal and vertical agreements, such as joint ventures and vertical restraints in distribution agreements.
GAMES Econ experts have worked for both plaintiffs and defendants, as well as regulators, on major cases involving credit card interchange fees, financial derivatives, public procurement, road freight transport, power cables, ATM networks, and the trucking and automobile industries in the context of preventive analysis, ongoing investigations, court appeals and claims for damages.
In these and other assignments, we have assessed the economic incentives of the alleged participants, tested hypotheses that distinguish competitive from collusive behavior, assessed the potential quantum of damages, and evaluated the potential risks and benefits of filing a leniency application.
Antitrust: Unilateral Conducts and Abuse of Dominance
GAMES Econ provides economic analysis in allegations of unilateral conduct and abuse of dominance. We assess whether a conduct, be it exploitative or exclusionary, is harmful for competition and consumer welfare.
GAMES Econ experts have worked for both plaintiffs and defendants, as well as regulators, in close collaboration with their legal teams. We provide advice in all of the stages of the procedure: submission of a complaint, investigation process, expert report and cross examination, as well as trial defense strategy. We elaborate Expert Reports in cases regarding excessive and discriminatory pricing, predatory pricing, cross-subsidies, exclusionary rebates, product bundling, raising rivals’ costs or reducing rivals’ demand, tying and refusal to supply.
GAMES Econ experts have advised Latin American, European and global companies. In Mexico, we have worked on cases involving cross-subsidies and margin-squeeze in telecommunications, refusal to supply between credit information companies, and refusal to deal in the salt market. In Europe, on a case of alleged anticompetitive practices in the media advertising industry. We also advised a global digital player in a case of abuse of dominance in the digital media industry.
In these and other assignments, we have assessed the definition of the relevant market, the determination of market power, the soundness and the evidence of the theories of harm and the existence of efficiencies. Amongst other issues, we have analyzed the economic incentives of alleged participants in abusive conduct cases, tested hypotheses that distinguish competitive from abuse of dominance conducts, and assessed the potential quantum of damages.
GAMES Econ provides expert economic advice to plaintiffs and defendants engaged in private antitrust and commercial litigation involving the quantification of damages.
GAMES Econ experts evaluated the quantum of damages in the context of breaches of contracts, intellectual property disputes and antitrust infringements.
Experts at GAMES Econ have worked for plaintiffs and defendants on antitrust damages claims in food packaging, power cables, credit card interchange fees, trucks, marine hoses and carboard packaging. We have also worked on commercial litigation cases requiring the quantification of damages in telecoms, banking, intellectual property, and media
GAMES Econ expert work has included the quantification of damages and illicit profits, the assessment of pass-through and passing-on defenses and the determination of “fair” compensation in the context of regulatory obligations and merger remedies.
GAMES Econ provides economic advice to regulators and companies on how to best design, implement, adapt and influence change to regulatory frameworks.
Our services include market design, prospective analysis of regulatory policies, identifying possible effects for companies and consumers and ex-post evaluation of the implementation and impact of regulatory policies.
Experts at GAMES Econ have participated in various analysis and policy debates surrounding regulated markets in Latin America and Europe. In the telecommunications and broadcasting industries, we evaluated asymmetric regulation, interconnection tariffs and spectrum auctions. We also analyzed regulatory changes introduced by the Government of Mexico in the renewable energy sector, energy dispatch, and energy transmission. We evaluated a new methodology to set gas transmission and distribution network charges for a major gas consumer n Spain.
GAMES Econ analyses are based on a deep understanding of the incentives that regulation imposes on firms’ behavior, making allowances for each industry in particular,and a rigorous economic analysis that incorporates public policy concerns.
GAMES Econ experts have pioneered the concept of dynamic regulation analysis, whereby our research looks at the effects of proposed regulatory changes on industry incentives and organization. We have advised firms to allow them to strategically align their business practices in anticipation to regulatory changes. In addition, we have analyzed regulatory trends and objectives to suggest regulators how to best implement such changes, and businesses how best to adapt to changing regulation. Our work aims to positively influence the direction of market incentives in line with efficiency and consumer welfare objectives.
At GAMES Econ we recognize that each proposed M&A transaction and its timely resolution is key for the future of our clients. We provide sound economic arguments and solid data analyses to assess the procompetitive effects that M&A transactions can bring, or to highlight their anticompetitive concerns under independent and objective measures.
Mergers change companies and can transform markets. Integrations can allow companies to broaden product portfolios and enter new markets, optimize costs and spur innovation. However, they can also negatively impact market dynamics and outcomes by facilitating price increases, deterring innovation and making it difficult for other companies to expand their presence in markets. Competition authorities around the world have therefore increasingly sought to understand and evaluate the economic impacts of M&As, both their potential restrictive effects on competition and their efficiencies.
We work with our clients from the early stages of a potential merger until the competition authority has made its final decision. We clearly outline the potential hurdles that a transaction can encounter and the possible solutions, including potential remedies. We help our clients gather quantitative and qualitative information, analyze data and evidence in light of the latest economic advances and policy developments, and build compelling arguments that connect market realities with policy objectives. We work hand-in-hand with in-house and external legal teams to build strong and coherent filings and negotiate remedies—when needed.
The experts at GAMES Econhave helped secure merger clearance for companies across Latin America and Europe across a broad range of sectors. We advised a media group in challenging the merger between the two main pay-TV stations in Spain and a major global audiovisual content provider in a conflict regarding the implementation of merger remedies in Spain. In Mexico, we have conducted economic analysis for mergers involving supermarkets and department stores; in the drywall and joint compound markets, as well as in different building materials’ markets. We evaluated the potential acquisition of a “digital” competitor by a brick-and-mortar company and its potential impact on conventional and online food retail markets.
We have also collaborated with regulators in undertaking ex post merger reviews for various transactions that at their time were considered particularly difficult or potentially controversial.
GAMES Econ provides economic analysis and industry expertise in complex commercial litigation and investor-state disputes.
Commercial relationships do not always flow as expected. Well-grounded economic and financial analysis is essential to clarify and solve potential conflicts between business partners or competitors. Experts at GAMES Econ have provided advise to companies in breach of contract cases, shareholders’ conflicts and intellectual property disputes before national courts and arbitration courts. Our work has included cases involving ATM networks, media & entertainment, energy, insurance, car franchises and road concessions.
Changes in regulatory contracts affect investors’ expectations. We have worked on investor-state disputes, involving changes in the regulatory frameworks in telecoms and energy before national courts and national and international arbitration courts.
Our work has consisted in the factual economic analysis of breaches of contract, the analysis of competitive relationships and incentives between stakeholders, and the quantification of damages.
GAMES Econ provides economic advice to governments, regulators and businesses in the design and impact assessment of public policies, industry analysis and capacity building. Our experience as former policymakers and regulators allows us to approach public policies from a unique multilateral perspective, helping firms, governments and society to build a better regulatory environment.
Examples of our work include reports on staple retail markets in Spain, Mexico and LatAm; the analysis of the adequacy of price controls in emerging economies; and helping the ADB to build a database on worldwide economic policy responses to COVID-19. We also evaluated a new methodology to set gas transmission and distribution network charges in Spain and the implications for a major gas consumer.
We have worked with national governments, regulators and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the OECD in matters relating to antitrust system and institutional design, capacity building of antitrust enforcers, industry competition analysis and policy impact analysis.
Market studies provide an in-depth understanding of how industries and markets work. Market studies help corporations to understand how their markets function, who their main competitors are and how their customers behave. They help companies to develop strategy roadmaps powering their strengths and mitigating their weaknesses. Market investigations are increasingly used by regulators to detect obstacles to the well-functioning of markets and to identify conducts that distort market outcomes. They often constitute the first step to further regulatory intervention.
We help companies to identify who their main competitors are and which competing products are closer substitutes to their own products. We have conducted market studies in the context of business strategies, litigation, market entry and exit decisions and potential mergers. GAMES Econ experts have contributed to the characterization of markets, the identification of competitors, the delineation of the product space and the analysis of business and pricing strategies in various industries including road concessions, pulp and paper, energy and food retail.
GAMES Econ experts have also collaborated with regulators in market investigations and studies to better understand the functioning of financial markets and payment systems, of retail and wholesale food markets, of funeral services and of the telecommunications industry, reviewing spectrum auction incentives. We participated with an interdisciplinary group of experts, in reviewing the effects of Latin America’s telecommunications development in easing the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the region.
GAMES Econ provides economic advice to companies, professionals, business chambers and associations, on compliance with antitrust laws and related regulations, in order to reduce risks of legal and economic contingencies that could harm companies’ finances and reputation.
GAMES Econ experts have trained administrative and operations staff, as well as decision makers in the manufacturing industry on competition and regulatory compliance. We have evaluated joint offers in public procurement for pharmaceuticals. We have performed risk assessments of new business lines and contracts to avoid anticompetitive clauses in the manufacturing industry. We have screened pricing strategies in food and retail industries. We assessed whether the information exchanged within industry associations was compliant with antitrust regulation.
Our services include antitrust compliance programs and courses for senior managers and employees in order to avoid unnecessary legal and financial risks. We also perform risk assessments of commercial practices in terms of antitrust law and related regulations, and provide recommendations to prevent organizations from facing antitrust sanctions. We elaborate guidelines, manuals and policies for specific industries and markets.
We work closely with in-house and external legal teams to provide recommendations and action plans, particularly when there could be unlawful or prohibited conducts.
Pre-Emptive Regulatory Compliance Strategy (PERCS): At GAMES Econ we help companies design and implement effective strategies aimed at preventing accidental regulatory breaches through the construction of internal screens and signals that allow companies to identify abnormal internal conducts and outcomes. Thus, strategic company-wide objectives can be attained while abiding regulation. To this end, we analyze large volumes of internal data, mapping key stakeholders, and elaborating relevant policy and communication documents jointly with in-house and external counsel.
Understanding public policies and regulations and acquiring the necessary tools to design and assess them are essential skills for business managers, lawyers and policymakers
GAMES Econ experts collaborate actively in research and teaching activities in the fields of competition, antitrust, market regulation, industry analysis and public policies. GAMES Econ experts collaborate with prestigious academic institutions and contribute to relevant academic and policy publications. We are frequently called as experts to express our views and to participate in panels all over the world. Keeping up-to-date in the latest policy developments and economic techniques is part of our day-to-day agenda.
GAMES Econ experts provide in-house training to companies, law firms and policymakers that require economic tools for the design of public policies. We train decision-makers on how to integrate competition concerns and regulatory constraints into achieving their goals. Our training programs are tailored for each client’s specific needs. Our training activities cover a broad range of topics including, amongst other, regulatory compliance, competition economics, quantitative techniques, pricing strategies, the economics of digital markets, and energy transition economics.
We also provide capacity building and training to policymakers, governments and regulators, directly or through multilateral institutions. We have collaborated with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Interamerican Development Bank to provide training to competition agencies and sectoral regulators in Romania, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, and Central America on various aspects of competition policy analysis and enforcement.
At GAMES Econ we believe in the power of economics to understand markets, competitive advantages, and regulatory constraints and opportunities. For example, what differentiates our clients from their competitors in actual and potential markets? What elements can give them a competitive edge in an increasingly complex market ecosystem? How do brick-and-mortar and digital companies interact under changing regulatory environments?
Is your company on the right track? Could it grow faster or better? These are some of the questions that roam in any board meeting and senior management’s long-term planning projections. To help our clients answer these questions, at GAMES Econ we provide the following services.
Corporate strategy: Getting to the heart of what each company does best, is not an easy endeavor. Using economics insights and data analytics tools, we can help our clients better understand what determines consumer choice; anticipate competitor strategies; shape mutually beneficial supplier relationships; design pricing policies and identify and assess market entry and exit scenarios.
Strategy for regulated companies: At GAMES Econ we help companies review their current business model to comply with regulation, while formulating strategies adapted to new regulatory environments.
Pre-Emptive Regulatory Compliance Strategy (PERCS): At GAMES Econ we help businesses design and implement effective strategies that allow them to attain their objectives, aligning their internal incentives and incorporating regulatory constraints. To this end, we analyze large volumes of internal data, mapping key stakeholders, and elaborating relevant recommendations jointly with in-house and external counsel.
Our experience includes helping start-ups in the health and creative industries in Colombia and Chile to develop their business models; helping a telecoms company in Colombia identify potential buyers, build business models and negotiate the terms of the transaction; reviewing data for a multinational retail company to ascertain whether company-wide best practices in sales and pricing policies were, in fact, being implemented on-the-ground in their commercial relations. We also helped a media group in Spain to adapt their pricing strategy to comply with antitrust standards.
We at GAMES Econ know that temporary trade barriers, like safeguards, anti-dumping and counter-vailing duties, can disrupt (or enhance) our clients’ businesses.
Temporary trade barriers are increasingly important policy instruments in a world of lower border tariffs. Each year, governments process hundreds of companies’ requests for new safeguards, anti-dumping measures and countervailing duties. We understand complex market realities and we also understand the GATT/WTO rules. Our sound economic and statistical arguments are therefore aimed at helping our clients determine whether a practice is occurring (e.g., dumping or an unexpected increase in imports), whether such a practice has seriously harmed the domestic industry, and whether there is a causal link between the practice and the harm.
We support our clients to build their case and present it to relevant government bodies. We gather and analyze trade information and perform detailed economic assessments aimed at determining relevant markets for like products, analyzing product differentiation between imported and domestically produced products, estimating domestic demand, determining and evaluating the potential economic factors that could explain any underperformance by the domestic industry, and estimating the potential impact of trade remedies.
The experts at GAMES Econ have workedon antidumping and safeguards cases in the industrial goods (steel), lumber products, and food & beverages sectors, among others.
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