Who's Who Legal
Who's Who Legal
New to Who's Who Legal?
New to Who's Who Legal?
Menu
User Menu
New to Who's Who Legal?
Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Lars Wiethaus is lauded by respondents as “a very clever economist and an asset to the market”. He is a noted expert in vertical restraints concerning network industries and platform markets.

Questions & Answers

With 15 years of experience, Lars’ merger cases include Karstadt/Kaufhof, the Daimler/BMW car sharing JV, Microsoft/LinkedIn, Deutsche Börse/London Stock Exchange (intervention) and Telefónica Deutschland/E-Plus. He has worked on various 102 cases and those involving vertical restraints, with a particular focus on network industries and platform markets. Lars has assessed damages in multiple high-profile claims, including in the smartcard chips, automotive, trucks, beer, glass, telecoms, payment cards and online distribution sectors. He speaks at conferences and provides economics training for judges.

Describe your career to date.

I am grateful for having had the chance of working with some of best economists right from the beginning of my career. Having been exposed to a wide range of high-profile matters in Tier-1 EU and German consultancies, it now allows me to run cases in all areas of competition law.

What are some of the key considerations when assessing damages in high-profile claims?

The European Damage Directive brought a surge in demand for econometric evidence and testimony. While this remains important, we see a clear trend to better anchor econometric evidence in the facts of the case. A pure “let the data speak” approach is not convincing. Rather, all assumptions made have to be derived from the facts, anecdotal evidence and witness statements. We devote more effort in finding and presenting such evidence and motivating the presumptions that follow from an economic perspective. In a sense the econometrics merely confirms, albeit much more rigorously, our presumptions.

What role do you see data playing in merger cases in the future?

Competition authorities increasingly expect submissions to be grounded with the available data. This starts during pre-notification. Take for example the recent takeover of Kaufhof by Karstadt, to result in a single department store chain in Germany. The parties deployed disaggregated data from loyalty cards to define catchment areas of each store, and to analyse overlaps and shares in over 4,000 local markets. In-depth data work during pre-notification facilitated the clearance of the merger in Phase 1. Key is that the parties’ data work can be easily understood and replicated by a competition authority. For the avoidance of doubt: whilst we will increasingly build our insights and judgements on data, we are not hitting an era in which artificial intelligence can substitute the economic and legal assessment of merger cases.

What impact has the current global economic situation had on competition law practice in Europe?

We have seen tech firms like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple growing tremendously over the decade. This growth comes with two simple facts: First, these firms constantly produce incredibly useful products and services that benefit consumers and society. Second, all of these firms act in an environment that is driven by scale and network effects, creating barriers to entry for others. In such a situation it is easy to pick anyone’s side. And that is precisely what we observe: a polarising landscape in which experts, competition authorities and other stakeholders make their cases based on partial evidence, reasoning and presumptions. Competition law practice needs to refocus on developing methods and evidence to analyse these cases on their merits rather than to get stuck in a ‘deadlock of presumptions’.

What are the key challenges facing the consulting market at the moment?

Getting good people.

How does Charles River Associates distinguish itself from the competition?

As one of the globally leading firms, Charles River Associates (CRA) assembles an abundance of competence on sector specific and methodological knowledge. Whatever the question on a certain industry or technique, you almost instantaneously get a reply to a question. Beyond that, CRA’s strong academic record, research contributions, and independence of its experts ensure credibility at competition authorities and courts that only few other firms can match.

How would you like to develop your practice in the next few years?

Increasing reliance on facts and data; increasing reliance on economics in litigation cases beyond the typical cartel and information exchange cases; and more integration of economic thinking into the case presentation and strategy. A particularly interesting and uncertain development concerns the role of economists, in conjunction with data scientists, in assessing firms’ competitive positions due access to certain data. For example, our tools allow us in principle to determine the value of certain data points for AI algorithms. This resembles, in principle, economists’ day-to-day work in specifying and testing regressions in, for example, litigation cases. It will be exciting to see how our tools will be applied in the increasingly important area of AI, and how economists and data scientists will work together. 

What advice would you give to younger economists looking to specialise in competition-related matters?

Earlier in my career I – and my superiors – found it useful for me to contribute to in-depth, research-based analysis to the casework. This frequently led to publications in academic and applied journals. As a result you become an important intellectual resource to a case, already at a junior level. At the same time you get your name out through publications. This was fruitful for me and I would recommend it to others. In so doing, the other advice I would give is to develop and continuously improve a language that is accessible to non-economists.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Lars Wiethaus is lauded by respondents as “a very clever economist and an asset to the market”. He is a noted expert in vertical restraints concerning network industries and platform markets.

Questions & Answers

With 15 years of experience, Lars’ merger cases include Karstadt/Kaufhof, the Daimler/BMW car-sharing JV, Microsoft/LinkedIn, Deutsche Börse/London Stock Exchange (intervention) and Telefónica Deutschland/E-Plus. He has worked on various 102 cases and those involving vertical restraints, with a particular focus on network industries and platform markets. Lars has assessed damages in multiple high-profile claims, including in the smartcard chips, automotive, trucks, beer, glass, telecoms, payment cards and online distribution sectors. He speaks at conferences and provides economics training for judges.

Describe your career to date.

I am grateful for having had the chance of working with some of best economists right from the beginning of my career. Having been exposed to a wide range of high-profile matters in Tier-1 EU and German consultancies, it now allows me to run cases in all areas of competition law.

What are some of the key considerations when assessing damages in high profile claims?

The European Damage Directive brought a surge in demand for econometric evidence and testimony. While this remains important, we see a clear trend to better anchor econometric evidence in the facts of the case. A pure “let the data speak” approach is not convincing. Rather, all assumptions made have to be derived from the facts, anecdotal evidence and witness statements. We devote more effort in finding and presenting such evidence and motivating the presumptions that follow form an economic perspective. In a sense the econometrics merely confirms, albeit much more rigorously, our presumptions.

What role do you see data playing in merger cases in the future?

Competition authorities increasingly expect submissions to be grounded with the available data. This starts during pre-notification. Take for example the recent takeover of Kaufhof by Karstadt, to result in a single department store chain in Germany. The parties deployed disaggregated data from loyalty cards to define catchment areas of each store, and to analyse overlaps and shares in over 4,000 local markets. In-depth data work during pre-notification facilitated the clearance of the merger in Phase 1. Key is that the parties’ data work can be easily understood and replicated by a competition authority. For the avoidance of doubt: whilst we will increasingly build our insights and judgements on data, we are not hitting an era in which artificial intelligence can substitute the economic and legal assessment of merger cases.

What impact has the current global economic situation had on competition law practice in Europe?

We have seen tech firms like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple growing tremendously over the decade. This growth comes with two simple facts: First, these firms constantly produce incredibly useful products and services that benefit consumers and society. Second, all of these firms act in an environment that is driven by scale and network effects, creating barriers to entry for others. In such a situation it is easy to pick anyone’s side. And that is precisely what we observe: a polarising landscape in which experts, competition authorities and other stakeholders make their cases based on partial evidence, reasoning and presumptions. Competition law practice needs to refocus on developing methods and evidence to analyse these cases on their merits rather than to get stuck in a ‘deadlock of presumptions’.

What are the key challenges facing the consulting market at the moment?

Getting good people.

How does Charles River Associates distinguish itself from the competition?

As one of the globally leading firms, Charles River Associates (CRA) assembles an abundance of competence on sector specific and methodological knowledge. Whatever the question on a certain industry or technique, you almost instantaneously get a reply to a question. Beyond that, CRA’s strong academic record, research contributions, and independence of its experts ensure credibility at competition authorities and courts that only few other firms can match.

How would you like to develop your practice in the next few years?

Increasing reliance on facts and data; increasing reliance on economics in litigation cases beyond the typical cartel and information exchange cases; and more integration of economic thinking into the case presentation and strategy. A particularly interesting and uncertain development concerns the role of economists, in conjunction with data scientists, in assessing firms’ competitive positions due access to certain data. For example, our tools allow us in principle to determine the value of certain data points for AI algorithms. This resembles, in principle, economists’ day-to-day work in specifying and testing regressions in, for example, litigation cases. It will be exciting to see how our tools will be applied in the increasingly important area of AI, and how economists and data scientists will work together. 

What advice would you give to younger economists looking to specialise in competition-related matters?

Earlier in my career I – and my superiors – found it useful for me to contribute to in-depth, research-based analysis to the casework. This frequently led to publications in academic and applied journals. As a result you become an important intellectual resource to a case, already at a junior level. At the same time you get your name out through publications. This was fruitful for me and I would recommend it to others. In so doing, the other advice I would give is to develop and continuously improve a language that is accessible to non-economists.

 

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Global Leader

Competition - Economists 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Lars Wiethaus is a go-to name for competition matters, say sources who note he “provides clear and concise analysis in support of Austrian filings”.

Biography

Dr Lars Wiethaus joined CRA as a vice president in June 2016 and splits his time between the Munich and Brussels offices. Previously, Lars was a director and head of the Brussels office at E.CA Economics. He started his career with LECG (Evans/Padilla group) in London.

With more than 10 years of consulting experience, Lars advised on numerous complex transactions including Microsoft/LinkedIn, Deutsche Börse/London Stock Exchange (third-party), Telefónica Deutschland/E-Plus, Vattenfall/Nuon, Edeka/Kaiser’s Tengelmann, Immonet/Immowelt, Liberty/Kabel BW, Swisscom/SRG/Ringier, Six/PayLife and Portugal Telecom/Sonaecom. He has worked on a large variety of article 102 cases and those involving vertical restraints, with a particular focus on network industries and platform markets. Lars has ample litigation experience, covering both defendants’ and claimants’ positions in claims concerning information exchanges, cartels and vertical restraints. He has assessed damages in multiple high-profile claims, including in the smart card chips, automotive, trucks, beer, glass, telecoms, payment cards, and online distribution sector. He has advised on various regulatory matters in the field of telecommunications and energy. Lars is particularly experienced in cases concerning the European Commission, the German BKartA, the Austrian BWB and the Swiss WEKO. Lars has served as an expert at court. 

Lars is a co-editor of the Journal of European Competition Law and Practice. He has published widely in economics and law journals including the International Journal of Industrial Organization, Telecommunication Policy, Review of Industrial Organization, Information Economics and Policy, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Journal of European Competition Law and Practice, and Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb. Lars regularly speaks at conferences and competition law seminars and provides economics training for judges.

Alternative address: Leopoldstr. 8-12, 80802 Munich. Tel: +49 89 20183 6352.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Lars Wiethaus is a go-to name for competition matters say sources who note he “provides clear and concise analysis in support of Austrian filings”.

Biography

Dr Lars Wiethaus joined CRA as a vice president in June 2016 and splits his time between the Munich and Brussels offices. Previously, Lars was a director and head of the Brussels office at E.CA Economics. He started his career with LECG (Evans/Padilla group) in London.

With more than 10 years of consulting experience, Lars advised on numerous complex transactions including Microsoft/LinkedIn, Deutsche Börse/London Stock Exchange (third-party), Telefónica Deutschland/E-Plus, Vattenfall/Nuon, Edeka/Kaiser’s Tengelmann, Immonet/Immowelt, Liberty/Kabel BW, Swisscom/SRG/Ringier, Six/PayLife and Portugal Telecom/Sonaecom. He has worked on a large variety of article 102 cases and those involving vertical restraints, with a particular focus on network industries and platform markets. Lars has ample litigation experience, covering both defendants’ and claimants’ positions in claims concerning information exchanges, cartels, and vertical restraints. He has assessed damages in multiple high-profile claims, including in the smart card chips, automotive, trucks, beer, glass, telecoms, payment cards, and online distribution sector. He has advised on various regulatory matters in the field of telecommunications and energy. Lars is particularly experienced in cases concerning the European Commission, the German BKartA, the Austrian BWB and the Swiss WEKO. Lars has served as an expert at court. 

Lars is a co-editor of the Journal of European Competition Law and Practice. He has published widely in economics and law journals including the International Journal of Industrial Organization, Telecommunication Policy, Review of Industrial Organization, Information Economics and Policy, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Journal of European Competition Law and Practice, and Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb. Lars regularly speaks at conferences and competition law seminars and provides economics training for judges.

Alternative address: Leopoldstr. 8-12, 80802 Munich. Tel: +49 89 20183 6352.

Law Business Research
Law Business Research Ltd
Meridian House, 34-35 Farringdon Street
London EC4A 4HL, UK
© Law Business Research Ltd 1998-2020. All rights reserved.
Company No.: 03281866