Snyder is an Affiliate Expert at Analysis Group which provides economic, financial, and business strategy consulting to law firms, corporations, and government agencies. His areas of expertise include Antitrust and Financial Institutions.
Consulting Work and Recent Matters
I have consulted in a various matters since I left the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division in 1985. The matters include antitrust cases, consumer protection claims, (e.g., Lanham Act Claims), intellectual property matters, and even a famous sports controversy.
Within the realm of antitrust, I’ve offered opinions on liability, damages, proposed mergers, price-fixing allegations, Hatch Waxman claims involving pharmaceuticals, monopolization claims (involving, for example, discounting practices), and proposed class-action certifications of both direct and indirect purchasers.
My 1985 Journal of Law & Economics article on allocating rights to bring antitrust claims between direct and indirect purchasers was a catalyst in my consulting on class certification. I was one of a relatively few academics who had studied the effects of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Hanover Shoe and Illinois Brick as well as subsequent legislation by individual states – the so-called Illinois Brick repealers. In hindsight, however, the article wasn’t particularly relevant to the economic analysis of proposed classes. What was more important was the combination of my knowledge of theory and my interest in real-world markets, my connection to businesses and customer behaviors, and, maybe most important, a willingness to do empirical analysis. (I suspect that I have done more empirical analyses of pass-on behavior than anyone else involved in antitrust matters.)
My work in class certification matters has been predominantly on the defense side. Recently, however, I was retained to work by the U.S. on a certification of a proposed class of consumers of VW cars that used diesel fuel. I decline matters, both on the defense and plaintiff sides, where I believe that my analysis would lead me to disagree with the relevant party’s approach to the legal issues.
Having done my Ph.D. dissertation on price-fixing cases filed by the U.S. Department of Justice over a 21-year period (rf. my 1990 Journal of Law & Economics) and had the opportunity to take classes from George J. Stigler, whose Nobel-prize winning work included the seminal analysis of cartels. I have enjoyed greatly working on liability matters and damages in the context of price-fixing cases.
The question of what pricing practices might constitute a violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act is of great importance. I have been concerned about the potential misuse of the antitrust laws by rivals (University of Michigan Law Review) and have recognized that discounting is, not surprisingly, good for consumers given that there are often gaps between the “marginal price paid” and “marginal costs”. This area is far from without controversy, but I believe that the joint work done by Kevin Murphy, Robert Topel, and myself (Oxford Handbook) is highly relevant and useful.
Outside of antitrust, my most fun engagement was in the famous Deflate-Gate matter. I testified on behalf of the NFL Players Association in the 10-hour hearing before Commissioner Roger Goodell in June 2015. (See Musing). Tom Brady told me “I was awesome”. Enough said.
Selected Antitrust Litigations
Selected Non-Antitrust Cases