Lars Wiethaus
Office:
Palais Leopold, Leopoldstr 8-12
80802
City:
Munich
Country:
Germany
Tel:
+49 89 20183 6352

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Competition

With more than 15 years of experience, Lars’ recent merger cases include 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 smart card chips, automotives, trucks, beer, glass, telecoms, payment cards and online distribution sectors. He speaks at conferences and provides economics training for judges.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO SPECIALISE IN COMPETITION-RELATED MATTERS? 

What makes our job so interesting is that most matters touch everyone’s day-to-day life. Often enough cases are covered by the popular press. We get a backstage ticket to explore and understand these matters in a way only few people have a chance to.

HOW DOES THE FIRM STAND APART FROM OTHER COMPETITORS IN THE MARKET? 

As one of the globally leading firms, Charles River Associates 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, its research contributions and the independence of its experts ensure credibility at competition authorities and courts that only few other firms can match.

HOW HAS THE ROLE OF COMPETITION ECONOMISTS EVOLVED THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER? 

Competition economists have been used for targeted tasks such as market definition and shares, bidding studies, etc. These days, lawyers and economists take a more holistic approach and work more integrated. Economic thinking and analyses at an early stage of a case should anticipate obstacles that lie ahead. This role of economists is now better understood and appreciated. Of course, economics has become the centrepiece of cartel litigation, and we see increasing demand for other litigation, concerning vertical restraints or other disputes, that require a robust assessment of counterfactual market conditions.

WHAT QUALITIES MAKE A SUCCESSFUL COMPETITION ECONOMIST?

It goes without saying that technical expertise both theoretical and empirical is key. We are also facing an ever-increasing need for sector-specific knowledge and understanding of new technologies. The increasing role of data and AI and the way it impacts current and future competition is only one example. Alongside this are advances in (soft) regulation by the European Commission and national competition authorities. Against this background, ultimately any advice has to be communicated in a clear, commonsense manner to convince judges and clients more broadly. 

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHANGES YOU HAVE OBSERVED IN THE PRESENTATION OF EXPERT TESTIMONY AND CROSS-EXAMINATION OVER YOUR CAREER? 

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. 

ARE ANY EU MEMBER STATES’ NATIONAL AUTHORITIES MUCH FURTHER AHEAD THAN OTHERS IN THEIR ECONOMICS ANALYSIS?  

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority and its predecessors have always been ahead of their peers in other member states when it comes to economic analysis. The Dutch’s Authority for Consumer and Markets is receptive of economic analysis and thinking as well. The German Federal Cartel Office has made considerable progress in the recent past, especially with regard to online and platform markets. But it still relies heavily on simple surveys of stakeholders rather than theoretical or econometric modelling. It would also be desirable if the national authorities installed data rooms, like the European Commission, so that parties’ economists can verify and scrutinise the analyses undertaken by the authorities. 

HOW DO YOU ENVISAGE YOUR PRACTICE DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS? 

Basically, the current trends I mentioned earlier will further evolve 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 PURSUE A CAREER IN THE FIELD? 

Earlier in my career I – and my superiors – found it useful for me to contribute to in-depth, research-based analysis of the case work. This frequently led to publications in academic and applied journals. As a result you become an important intellectual resource to a case, even at 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.    

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Germany - Competition Economists

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 15 years of experience, Lars advised on numerous complex transactions including car2go/DriveNow JVKarstadt/Galaria KaufhofMicrosoft/LinkedInDeutsche Börse/London Stock Exchange (third-party), Telefónica Deutschland/E-PlusEdeka/Kaiser's TengelmannImmonet/ImmoweltLiberty/Kabel BWSwisscom/SRG/RingierSix/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 sectors. 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 OrganizationTelecommunication PolicyReview of Industrial OrganizationInformation Economics and PolicyEconomics of Innovation and New TechnologyJournal 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: Avenue Louise 143, 1050 Brussels. Tel: +32 2 627 14 02.

WWL says: Lars Wiethaus is lauded by respondents this year 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.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Germany which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Competition: Economists

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 says: Sources are consistently impressed by Lars Wiethaus's "strong analytical skills and pragmatism", with one noting, "It is always a pleasure to get his views on a case."

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Competition which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Consulting Experts: Experts - Economics - Competition Economists

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.

Brussels office:
143 Avenue Louise
Brussels, 1050
Tel: +32 2 627 1402

WWL says: Lars Wiethaus is a superb economist who “understands business logic and provides very sound economic advice". Sources add, "His advice is crystal clear.”

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Consulting Experts which can be purchased from our Shop.

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