News | BRG press release

BRG Adds Leading Economists, including Former Chief Economists from DOJ Antitrust Division, FTC, FCC

January 29, 2020

BRG announced today that experts Michael A. Williams, PhD, and Wei Zhao, PhD, have joined the firm from Competition Economics LLC. In conjunction with their arrival, a group of leading academics are affiliating with BRG, including chaired professors and former chief economists at the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“This distinguished group of economists brings considerable strength to our firm,” said BRG Chairman and Principal Executive Officer David J. Teece. “As we continue to attract top talent, this addition reinforces our reputation as the firm with great minds capable of working on high-stakes, unstructured problems.”

An Emeryville-based managing director, Dr. Williams specializes in analyses involving antitrust, industrial organization, and regulation. He has provided testimony before more than thirty federal and state courts and public utility commissions. He has been retained as an economic consultant by the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, the FTC, and the Canadian Competition Bureau.

Dr. Zhao, a director also based in Emeryville, specializes in analyses involving antitrust, industrial organization, econometrics, and damages. He has worked on price-fixing, merger, and product-liability matters involving numerous industries, including IT, financial, automobile, telecommunication, retail chain, health, chemical, manufacturing, transportation, food, and labor.

“The addition of these outstanding economists further enhances BRG’s ability to undertake the most complex engagements in both antitrust litigation and merger analysis, healthcare, IP, complex damages calculation, class certification, product liability, and other matters requiring state-of-the-art economic analysis,” said BRG President Tri MacDonald.

“We are delighted to join BRG,” said Dr. Williams. “The firm’s organizational structure, business strategy, and impressive performance make it a very attractive platform.”

BRG’s new academic affiliates include:

  • David S. Sibley, the John Michael Stuart Centennial Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economic Analysis in the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, the highest-ranking economics position in the Antitrust Division. Professor Sibley has been retained as an expert in cases involving price fixing, class certification, monopolization, patent misuse, and mergers for government and private clients. In 2012, he advised the DOJ in its investigation of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. He also supervised the FCC staff in its 2018/2019 analysis of a current telecommunications merger. His antitrust research includes papers on vertical and horizontal mergers, spectrum purchases, and vertical restrictions.
  • Luke M. Froeb, the William C. and Margaret M. Oehmig Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. His merger models are used by competition agencies around the world. He has served as chief economist of both the Antitrust Division of the DOJ and the FTC. Previously, he was a staff economist at the DOJ and taught econometrics at Tulane University.
  • Simon J. Wilkie, dean of the Faculty of Business & Economics and head at Monash Business School. Professor Wilkie is a former chief economist at the FCC. His research has particularly focused on game theory, its application to business strategy, economic and regulatory policy design, and the economics of the communications industries.
  • Lawrence Van Horn, a professor of healthcare management and faculty director of the Healthcare Program at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. He is a leading expert and researcher on healthcare management and economics.
  • Kenneth Hendricks, the Christensen Chair of Economics at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an associate editor of the American Economic Journal: Microeconomics and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Economic Literature. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a fellow of the Econometric Society. His primary field of research is industrial organization.
  • Philip J. Reny, the Hugo F. Sonnenschein Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. Professor Reny is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the Econometric Society. His primary research is in game theory and auctions. He is the author of numerous articles on these topics, which have been published in leading economics journals, and he is coauthor of the book Advanced Microeconomic Theory.
  • Mikhael Shor, an associate professor of economics at the University of Connecticut. He specializes in the study of behavioral game theory and its applications to firm-level decision making.
  • Guofu Tan,a professor of economics at the University of Southern California. His economic research in the fields of industrial organization, antitrust economics, auction theory, anti-monopoly law, and the Chinese economy has been widely published. Previously, Professor Tan held the T.D. MacDonald Chair in Industrial Economics at the Canadian Competition Bureau. As a consultant, he has provided advice to public- and private-sector clients with respect to competition and regulatory matters in numerous industries.
  • Steven Tschantz, an associate professor of mathematics at Vanderbilt University, where he has taught since 1984. Along with Professor Froeb, Professor Tschantz has developed many of the merger models used by competition agencies around the world. Among his classes at Vanderbilt, he teaches mathematical modeling in economics.

In addition, Michael J. Doane, a founder of Competition Economics, will be an affiliate at BRG. He has over thirty-five years of experience conducting economic research in the areas of antitrust, regulation, and complex business litigation. He served as a consultant to the DOJ in the Microsoft antitrust case and has participated in some of the largest merger investigations in US history, including those involving oil and gas, computer software, hospitals, and telecommunications.

BRG Experts

Related Professionals

Michael A. Williams

Managing Director

San Francisco Bay Area

Wei Zhao

Managing Director

San Francisco Bay Area