The Economic Underpinnings Of Comcast V. Behrend
Dr. Laila Haider, partner, and Dr. John Johnson, president, CEO and partner, published an article in Law360 that discusses the role of rigorous analysis in the United States Supreme Court’s most recent antitrust ruling in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend.
In the article, Dr. Haider and Dr. Johnson explain that "...the Supreme Court's decision in Comcast v. Behrend has made it likely that courts will be weighing the adequacy of proposed damages models at the class certification phase, even if those issues 'overlap' with the merits of the case."
Dr. Haider and Dr. Johnson discuss the role of regression analysis at the class certification stage, highlighting that potentially unreliable and misleading results can be generated when the assumptions underlying the proposed regression model are invalid. They describe that a regression model will yield an unreliable result if the estimated effect of the alleged violation is not causally related to the particular allegation of defendants’ anticompetitive conduct. They conclude that "...an important question at the class certification stage is whether the methodology proposed by the plaintiffs can be used to reliably assess damages to proposed class members."
According to the authors, the Supreme Court's recent antitrust decision in Comcast v. Behrend implies more rigorous empirical testing at the class certification stage as related to both impact and damages, and an increased likelihood that plaintiffs’ proposed damages models will come under more scrutiny from the courts.
The authors along with their colleague, Dr. Gregory Leonard, filed an amicus brief in Comcast v. Behrend, demonstrating that scientifically rigorous economic methods can reliably determine whether damages to putative class members can be measured on a class-wide basis.