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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Rainer Nitsche

Rainer Nitsche

E.CA EconomicsSchlossplatz 1BerlinGermany10178
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Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Questions & Answers

Rainer Nitsche is a director of E.CA Economics and an expert in providing economic advice in competition and litigation cases before the European Commission and national competition authorities in Germany, Austria, the UK and the Netherlands. He has more than 20 years of experience in supporting clients in all fields of competition policy enforcement, including cartel and abuse of a dominant position cases as well as merger control (Phase I and Phase II investigations). In addition, he has advised undertakings on a variety of regulation issues in network industries and several European national governments and state aid recipients in state aid control proceedings.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT PRACTISING AS A COMPETITION ECONOMIST? 

Understanding what matters for the competitive outcome in a market is a key task in almost all projects, and is particular fun. I also enjoy it when our advice is decisive.

WHICH HAS BEEN THE MOST INTERESTING CASE IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

I always enjoy working for the courts. However, recent digital markets cases involving Facebook, Google and e-commerce platforms have been particularly interesting because they raise new issues: privacy, pricing algorithms, sorting algorithms, new kinds of network effects, etc.

WHAT WAS MOST DIFFICULT ABOUT STARTING OUT IN THE COMPETITION FIELD? 

When I started, the role of competition economics was not always well understood and the challenge was to explain how we add value in a case. This has changed dramatically as our field is now well established and the value of quantitative empirical analysis is recognised. However, some competition lawyers and their clients still underestimate the potential to improve their arguments by introducing rigorous economic arguments independent of any “number crunching”.

HOW DO YOU PREPARE TO TESTIFY AS A COURT EXPERT?  

This is very case-specific. A good preparation involves separating less important details from those facts and analyses that really matter for the main results (and memorising the latter).

IN WHAT WAYS HAS WORK AS A RESEARCH FELLOW AT THE EUROPEAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY (ESMT) ENHANCED YOUR PRACTICE? 

To give just one example: when preparing for teaching the digital platform strategy course in ESMT’s MBA programme, I (re)read many very insightful papers on two-sided markets and platforms. This is very helpful in the many digital platform cases we work with but also for defining a position in the ongoing debate whether competition policy is ready to deal with all digital platform issues.

WHAT IMPACT HAVE MAJOR CARTEL CASES HAD ON THE PRACTICE OF COMPETITION ECONOMISTS IN GERMANY AND EUROPE? 

Cartel damage cases with many separate claimants or claimant groups give work to many competition economists – some with limited experience. In the early phases of this development that leads to more heterogeneity in the quality of expert opinions. That is something to keep an eye on.

YOU HAVE ENJOYED A VERY DISTINGUISHED CAREER SO FAR. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE THAT YOU HAVE NOT YET ACCOMPLISHED?

Tackling the next challenge.

Thought Leaders - Germany

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Biography

Rainer Nitsche is a director of E.CA Economics and an expert in providing economic advice in competition and litigation cases before the European Commission and national competition authorities in Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. He has more than 20 years of experience in supporting clients in all fields of competition policy enforcement, including cartel and abuse of a dominant position cases as well as merger control (Phase I and Phase II investigations). In addition, he has advised undertakings on a variety of regulation issues in network industries and several European national governments and state aid recipients in state aid control proceedings.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT PRACTISING AS A COMPETITION ECONOMIST?

Understanding what matters for the competitive outcome in a market is a key task in almost all projects, and is particularly fun. I also enjoy it when our advice is decisive.

WHICH HAS BEEN THE MOST INTERESTING CASE IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

I always enjoy working for the courts. However, recent digital markets cases involving Facebook, Google and e-commerce platforms have been particularly interesting because they raise new issues: privacy, pricing algorithms, sorting algorithms, new kinds of network effects, etc.

WHAT WAS MOST DIFFICULT ABOUT STARTING OUT IN THE COMPETITION FIELD?

When I started, the role of competition economics was not always well understood and the challenge was to explain how we add value in a case. This has changed dramatically as our field is now well established and the value of quantitative empirical analysis is recognised. However, some competition lawyers and their clients still underestimate the potential to improve their arguments by introducing rigorous economic arguments independent of any “number crunching”.

HOW DO YOU PREPARE TO TESTIFY AS A COURT EXPERT? 

This is very case-specific. A good preparation involves separating less important details from those facts and analyses that really matter for the main results (and memorising the latter).

IN WHAT WAYS HAS WORK AS A RESEARCH FELLOW AT THE EUROPEAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY (ESMT) ENHANCED YOUR PRACTICE?

To give just one example: when preparing for teaching the digital platform strategy course in ESMT’s MBA programme, I (re)read many very insightful papers on two-sided markets and platforms. This is very helpful in the many digital platform cases we work with but also for defining a position in the ongoing debate whether competition policy is ready to deal with all digital platform issues.

WHAT IMPACT HAVE MAJOR CARTEL CASES HAD ON THE PRACTICE OF COMPETITION ECONOMISTS IN GERMANY AND EUROPE?

Cartel damage cases with many separate claimants or claimant groups give work to many competition economists – some with limited experience. In the early phases of this development that leads to more heterogeneity in the quality of expert opinions. That is something to keep an eye on.

YOU HAVE ENJOYED A VERY DISTINGUISHED CAREER SO FAR. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE THAT YOU HAVE NOT YET ACCOMPLISHED?

Tackling the next challenge.

Global Leader

Competition - Economists 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Rainer Nitsche is distinguished as a “key name” for competition matters by sources who say he “has a great sense of what can be explained to judges and how this can be achieved”.

Biography

Dr Rainer Nitsche is a director at E.CA Economics and an expert in providing economic advice in competition and litigation cases before the European Commission and national competition authorities in Germany, Austria, the UK and the Netherlands. He has 25 years of experience supporting clients in all fields of competition policy enforcement, including cartel and abuse of dominant position cases and merger control (phase I and phase II investigations). In addition, he has advised on a variety of regulation issues in network industries (transport, telecommunications, postal services and electricity) and has published widely in the field of competition economics. Rainer Nitsche is a research fellow at ESMT Berlin, where he teaches courses on digital platform strategy.

Besides renowned law firms, his clients have also included the European Commission and national competition authorities. Rainer Nitsche has extensive experience as a testifying expert. He has acted as a court expert in more than 10 merger and antitrust proceedings. He has served as an economic expert in numerous cartel cases for courts, plaintiffs and defendants from a broad range of industries including the trucks cartel, the elevator cartel, the rail cartel, the cold cut meat cartel, the automotive bearings cartel, the sugar cartel, the district heating tube cartel, the utility vehicle cartel, the gas cartel, the pumpers and turntable ladder cartel, the automotive glass cartel, the LPG cartel, the de-icing salt cartel as well as cartels in several FMCG industries, grocery retail, waste industries and plant construction.

Recent Phase I and II EU merger cases include RHI/Magnesita, HC/ITC and Telefónica/E-Plus. He has advised a number of European national governments and state aid recipients.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Rainer Nitsche is distinguished as a “key name” for competition matters by sources who say he “has a great sense of what can be explained to judges and how this can be achieved”.

Biography

Dr Rainer Nitsche is a director at E.CA Economics and an expert in providing economic advice in competition and litigation cases before the European Commission and national competition authorities in Germany, Austria, the UK and the Netherlands. He has 25 years of experience supporting clients in all fields of competition policy enforcement, including cartel and abuse of dominant position cases and merger control (Phase I and Phase II investigations). In addition, he has advised on a variety of regulation issues in network industries (transport, telecommunications, postal services and electricity) and has published widely in the field of competition economics. Rainer Nitsche is a research fellow at ESMT Berlin.

Besides renowned law firms, his clients have also included the European Commission and national competition authorities. Rainer Nitsche has extensive experience as a testifying expert. He has acted as a court expert in more than 10 merger and antitrust proceedings. He has served as an economic expert in numerous cartel cases for courts, plaintiffs and defendants from a broad range of industries including the trucks cartel, the elevator cartel, the rail cartel, the cold cut meat cartel, the automotive bearings cartel, the sugar cartel, the district heating tube cartel, the utility vehicle cartel, the gas cartel, the pumpers and turntable ladder cartel, the automotive glass cartel, the LPG cartel, the de-icing salt cartel as well as cartels in several FMCG industries, grocery retail, waste industries and plant construction. He has advised a number of European national governments and state aid recipients on state aid matters.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Rainer Nitsche is ranked among the very elite of competition economists in the German market. He is a favourite among clients, with one noting that “his forensic experience and state-of-the-art knowledge are breath-taking”.

Biography

Rainer Nitsche is a director and an expert in providing economic advice in competition and litigation cases before the European Commission and national competition authorities in Germany, Austria, the UK and the Netherlands. He has more than 20 years of experience supporting clients in all fields of competition policy enforcement, including cartel and abuse of dominant position cases and merger control (Phase I and Phase II investigations). In addition, he has advised on a variety of regulation issues in network industries (transport, telecommunications, postal services and electricity) and has published widely in the field of competition economics.

Besides renowned law firms, his clients have also included the European Commission and national competition authorities. He has extensive experience as a testifying expert and has acted as a court expert for the Austrian Cartel Court in more than 10 merger and antitrust proceedings. He has served as an economic expert in numerous cartel cases for courts, plaintiffs and defendants from a broad range of industries including the rail cartel, the cold cut meat cartel, the automotive bearings cartel, the sugar cartel, the district heating tube cartel, the trucks cartel, the gas cartel, the pumpers and turntable ladder cartel, the automotive glass cartel, the de-icing salt cartel as well as cartels in several FMCG industries, grocery retail, waste industries and plant construction.

Recent Phase I and II EU merger cases include RHI/Magnesita, HC/ ITC and Telefónica/E-Plus. He has advised a number of European national governments and state aid recipients.

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