Case Study

Antitrust Case Regarding Automated License Plate Recognition Platform

November 30, 2020

BRG Managing Director Cleve B. Tyler served as an expert economist in an antitrust matter related to Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) systems. Dr. Tyler evaluated the economic merits of antitrust claims relating to contractual exclusivity provisions and noncompete clauses, and corresponding damages. He submitted an expert report that analyzed in depth and provided opinions regarding market definition, market participants, whether the antitrust defendant had monopoly power, and competitive effects. He also addressed opinions set forth by an opposing expert economist, including claimed damages.

Digital Recognition Network (DRN) is a data company that has built a proprietary platform that develops and provides information regarding the location of automobiles sought for repossession. The company uses ALPR technology in connection with cameras mounted on vehicles of reclamation affiliates to build its database of vehicle locations. The data is compared against lists of vehicles sought for repossession by lenders, and approvals can be granted in real time for repossession.

DRN had pursued litigation against former affiliate reclamation companies alleging the theft of trade secrets. Those former affiliates filed counterclaims alleging antitrust violations by DRN with regard to certain contractual provisions previously agreed to by the affiliates.

DRN prevailed in the litigation on summary judgment with regard to merits of the antitrust claims. In finding for DRN, the judge’s decision echoed the findings of Dr. Tyler’s report, stating, “Defendants have failed to come forward with competent summary judgment evidence to establish the relevant market and plaintiff’s ability to control prices and exclude competition…[n]or have they shown an antitrust injury based on the theory they have pleaded.” Moreover, with respect to the defendants’ opposing expert, the court said that “…the report is replete with hearsay, general allegation and self-serving conclusions” and that “based on the report itself, the court is not satisfied that the expert would be allowed to testify at trial in any event.”

Digital Recognition Network, Inc. v. Accurate Adjustments, Inc. et al., US District Court, Northern District of Texas, C.A. No. 4:14-CV-00903-A.

The views and opinions expressed in this case study are those of the experts and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, position, or policy of Berkeley Research Group, LLC or its other employees and affiliates.

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Cleve B. Tyler

Managing Director

Washington, DC