CRA assists door manufacturer Steves & Sons in groundbreaking Section 7 jury trial win

CRA provided expert testimony and antitrust analysis in a groundbreaking antitrust jury trial on behalf interior molded door manufacturer Steves & Sons on claims resulting from the October 2012 merger of JELD-WEN and CraftMaster, two vertically integrated manufacturers of interior molded doorskins and doors. In what is believed to be the first jury trial involving a consummated merger and applying Section 7 of the Clayton Act in the past 40 years. On February 15, 2018, a U.S. District Court (E.D. Va) jury panel ruled in favor of Steves, finding that the merger violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Senior Consultant, Professor Carl Shapiro and CRA economists provided expert testimony and analyses demonstrating that the merger resulted in an above threshold increase in concentration in the market for interior molded doorskins and increased the incentive for the remaining vertically integrated suppliers to restrict doorskin supply and increase doorskin prices to downstream independent door manufacturers like Steves. The CRA team’s analyses showed that post-merger prices to independent door manufacturers did increase and could not be explained by other factors such as increased costs or housing demand or mitigated by future entrants to the market. CRA’s team was led by Bharati Mandapati and included Marissa Beck and Julian Manasse-Boetani.