Commissioner Rosch on the (Smaller?) Role of Economists in Antitrust Litigation

From FTC Commissioner Rosch:

Personally, I think simulation analyses and indeed any kind of economic analyses that require the use of mathematical formulae are of little persuasive value in the courtroom setting. When I see an economic formula my eyes start to glaze over, and if the formula uses Greek letters I tend to think “it’s all Greek to me.” I think that’s the way that courts view this evidence too.  Simulation analyses and the like were presented in the Oracle, Swedish Match and Staples trials, and in all three instances the courts (including some pretty sophisticated judges) virtually ignored them… .

Most economists, however well prepared, will not have the industry experience to serve as the primary “storytellers.” However, they can play an important complementary role and reinforce the testimony of those witnesses by presenting data respecting prices, entry, diversion and/or price erosion.

This passage of a very interesting speech gave me some pause.  A few points…

Read the full piece here