Solyndra Antitrust Litigation
Analysis Group was retained on behalf of counsel for multiple Chinese solar panel manufacturers to investigate claims of predatory pricing and collusion that allegedly contributed to the 2011 bankruptcy of US solar panel company Solyndra. Plaintiff, Solyndra's bankruptcy trustee, relied heavily on findings by the US Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission (ITC) that the Chinese defendants had dumped their products on the US market at less than fair value. An Analysis Group team supported Managing Principal Bruce Deal, whose testimony addressed issues of market definition and power, barriers to entry, market dynamics, input costs, output pricing, and profitability, among others. Our team also investigated and explained critical differences between dumping margins as calculated by the ITC and economic analysis of below-cost pricing that can arise, especially in the context of trade with foreign firms operating in different policy and economic contexts. Our analysis found that defendants had not priced below cost and that contrary to plaintiff's claims, Solyndra's relatively high costs and changes in market conditions rather than any anticompetitive behavior reduced Solyndra's sales and ultimately led to its bankruptcy.
This matter settled favorably for our clients before trial. Plaintiff had claimed that the loss of virtually all of the $1.7 billion invested in Solyndra was attributable to the defendants, but settled for approximately four percent of the claimed amount. The Analysis Group team on this engagement included Mr. Deal, Managing Principal Lee Heavner, and Vice Presidents Peter Hess and Eric Korman.