CEO Martha Samuelson, Coauthors Recap Most-Favored Nation Workshop in ABA Antitrust Newsletter

December 7, 2012

Analysis Group President and CEO Martha Samuelson and Vice Presidents Nikita Piankov and Brian Ellman wrote an article for the ABA Antitrust Section Joint Conduct Committee's Fall 2012 E-Bulletin outlining a workshop focused on antitrust policy and the enforcement of most-favored nation (MFN) clauses. Key points in these clauses -- deemed a "hot topic" in antitrust law -- provide that one party to a contract will grant the other terms that are at least as favorable as those granted to any other party. The September 10, 2012 workshop was cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.

In "From Economic Theory to Real-World Transactions: Highlights from the FTC/DOJ's Recent Workshop on Most-Favored-Nation Clauses," the authors recap sessions from the daylong workshop, which aimed to educate the antitrust community about MFNs, promote greater awareness and understanding of these clauses, equip attorneys with information about enforcement action, and promote more research on the issue. "While a consensus remains that the possible effects of MFNs depend on their type and scope, the relevant market context, and alternatives to them, the workshop stimulated discussion and analysis that may ultimately affect how MFNs are designed and examined in the future," the authors conclude.

Yale School of Management economics professor and Analysis Group affiliate Judith Chevalier participated in the workshop, explaining the potential anticompetitive effects of and possible efficiencies to be gained from MFNs during the session "Economic Theories of MFNs: Harms and Efficiencies." Ms. Samuelson moderated the panel "From Theory to the Real World," which featured industry executives sharing their experiences on the efficiencies and complications of MFNs.

Read the article (page 15)

Read more about the workshop in ABA's The Price Point