31 Mar 2011 Cases

France Télécom v. Numericable

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On March 31, 2011, the Tribunal de Commerce de Paris ruled on a dispute opposing France Télécom, the French incumbent telecommunications operator, and Numericable. Numericable claimed damages ranging from €157 million to €1.5 billion as compensation for the presumed effects of anticompetitive predatory practices upon its position in the broadband Internet market in France. Compass Lexecon economists, David Sevy and Jeremiah Juts, were retained by France Télécom and their legal advisors, Jacques-Philippe Gunther and Adrien Giraud at Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP, to prepare an expert report and testify on the damage claimed by Numericable. The Tribunal awarded €10 million, less than one fifteenth the lower bound of Numericable’s claim, on the mere principle that a competitor would have necessarily been hurt by anticompetitive practices, yet rejected most of the elements put forth by the claimant, citing in support and following all the methodological objections the Compass Lexecon experts raised, including the redundancy between various components of the claim that have been traditionally considered in comparable litigations.

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