Debra J Aron

Debra J. Aron
Senior Managing Director

Disputes & Economics; Antitrust & Competition; Intellectual Property; Class Action

Dr. Debra J. Aron is a Senior Managing Director at Ankura, located in the Chicago office. Debra applies her expertise in economic and policy matters, including competition and antitrust analysis, intellectual property, class certification, and damages analysis, in both regulatory and litigation disputes. She has provided expert testimony for over 20 years in a variety of high-stakes federal, state, regulatory, and arbitration cases relating to the development of competition in regulated and emerging markets; pricing; market definition; price fixing damages; investment in new technologies; unjust enrichment; reasonable royalties; and economic cost analyses. She also has conducted competition analyses in several high-profile mergers and macroeconomic analyses of pricing and investment changes.

  • Experience

    Debra’s professional experience includes:

    • Expert report and deposition testimony in litigation before the United States District Court, District of Arizona, in putative class action matter brought under the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act (ACFA), regarding damages, January 2018.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony in litigation before the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, in putative class action matter related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), regarding class certification, June 2017.
    • Expert report and testimony at jury trial before the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, on unjust enrichment and reasonable royalty damages related to a claim of theft of trade secrets related to robotics technology, May 2017.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony before the United States District Court, Northern District of California, on price fixing litigation related to optical disk drives, March 2017.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on damages in telecommunications litigation pertaining to intercarrier traffic, February 2017.
    • Expert report and trial testimony at jury trial before the United States District Court, District of North Carolina, Durham Division, in class action matter related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), regarding data analytics, January 2017.
    • Econometric and market analysis of diversion and potential competitive effects of challenged (“second request”) global merger in the beverage industry, 2016.
    • Hearing testimony and prefiled written expert testimony before the California Public Utilities Commission in matter regarding competition among telecommunications providers in California, March, June, and July 2016.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony in class action litigation before the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Alameda, on damages related to cell phone early termination fees, March 2016.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony in litigation before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, on market definition and antitrust damages in a Walker Process antitrust counterclaim to a patent infringement claim, March 2016.
    • Econometric and market analysis of diversion and potential competitive effects of an acquisition in the beverage industry, 2015.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony in litigation before the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois in a class action matter alleging unfair business practices relating to sale and marketing of gas-pipe repair warranty services, on damages, February 2016.
    • Expert declaration before the California Public Utilities Commission in matter of Frontier Communications Corporation’s proposed acquisition of Verizon California Inc.’s assets in California, August 2015.
    • Trial testimony at jury trial in litigation before the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, regarding damages in a tortious interference matter, May 2015.
    • Deposition and trial testimony at jury trial in litigation before the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, on damages in a patent infringement matter, November 2014 and February 2015.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony in a matter before the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware regarding shareholder dispute arising out of a merger, December 2014.
    • Testimony in arbitration regarding compensation for costs of intellectual property associated with regulatory compliance under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), October 2014.
    • ‘The Price of Beer in Ontario and Quebec,” May 2014; “Beer Segmentation in Ontario and Quebec,” October 2014; “The Trade-Off Between Price and Proximity of Beer Retailers for Ontarians,” October 2014; and “The Pass-Through of Taxes in the Prices of Beer in Ontario and Quebec,” October, 2014, white papers presented to the Canadian Competition Bureau in relation to a policy undertaking in consideration of revisions to retail regulations for beer sales in Ontario; oral presentations to the CCB on this research, 2014.
    • Deposition and trial testimony at jury trial in litigation before the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, on damages in a patent infringement matter, July 2014 and October 2014.
    • Prefiled written expert testimony before the California Public Utilities Commission in matter regarding regulation of residential basic local service rates of a telecommunications provider, August 2014 and October 2014.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony in litigation before the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (“MTBE’) Products Liability Litigation, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, et al. v. Shell Oil Co., et al., regarding damages, May 2014.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony in litigation before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division, in price fixing litigation in the polyurethane foam industry, regarding damages, April 2014 and September 2014.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony in litigation before the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) Products Liability Litigation, New Jersey Dep’t of Envtl. Prot., et al. v. Atlantic Richfield Co., et al., regarding “economic feasibility” of alternative fuels, May 2013.
    • Expert report and rebuttal expert report in matter before the Western District of North Carolina Charlotte Division in fraudulent conveyance matter in the telecommunications industry, January 2013.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony in ERISA litigation before the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, regarding the competitive history and landscape of the communications marketplace and business context of cost reductions, November 2011.
    • Expert report and deposition testimony on damages estimation in litigation before the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, regarding access charges for long distance calls made using calling cards, November 2011.

  • Honors & awards

    • Guthman Research Chair, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, Summer 1994
    • Hoover National Fellowship, Hoover Institution, 1992-1993
    • Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1987-1990
    • Pepsico Research Chair, Northwestern University, 1990
    • Kellogg Research Professorship, Northwestern University, 1989
    • National Science Foundation Research Grant, 1987-1988
    • Buchanan Chair, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, 1987-1988
    • IBM Chair, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, 1986-1987

  • News & events
    • ABA 5th Annual Western Regional CLE Program on Class Actions and Mass Torts, 06/22/2018, Panel: “Considerations for the Economists’ Analysis in Opt-Out Relative to
    • Class Action Litigation,” San Francisco, CA
    • ABA Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section, Fall Council Meeting, 10/13/2017, “Lessons from the Deregulation of the Airline and Telecommunications Industries,” Palm Beach, FL
    • ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Fundamentals of Antitrust Economics Series, 05/27/2016, “Economic Fundamentals: Vertical and Coordinated Effects in Mergers,” Washington, DC
    • ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, 04/06/2016, Panel: “Economic Fundamentals: Market Power,” Washington, DC
    • ABA Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law, Spring Council Meeting, 03/11/2016, “The Economic Impact of Electricity Price Increases in Puerto Rico,” Naples, FL
    • ABA Annual Meeting, 07/31/2015, Moderator: “Effective Cross-Examination of the Expert Witness: Practical Tips and Video Clips,” Chicago, IL
    • ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference, 04/17/2015, Moderator: “The Science of Persuasion: Practical Insights from Research on Expert Witness Effectiveness and Jury Decision-Making,” New Orleans, LA
    • ABA Section of Litigation, Environmental, Mass Torts, & Products Liability Litigation Committees’ Joint CLE Seminar, 01/30/2014, Panel: “How to Manage Conversations with Expert Witnesses,” Avon, Co
    • Federal Communications Commission, 06/11/2013, “The Effects of Legacy Pricing Regulation on Adoption of Broadband Service in the United States,” Washington, DC
    • ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference, 04/26/2013, Panel: “A Primer: Getting the Most Out of Your Experts — Do’s and Don’ts in the Use of Expert Witnesses: Learning from the Experts,” Chicago, IL
    • Wesleyan University, 03/27/2013, “An Empirical Analysis of Regulator Mandates on the Pass Through of Switched Access Fees for In-State Long-Distance
    • Telecommunications in the U.S.,” with David E. Burnstein, Ana Danies, and Gerry Keith, Middletown, CT
  • Insights & innovation
    • “An Empirical Analysis of Regulator Mandates on the Pass Through of Switched Access Fees for In-State Long-Distance Telecommunications in the U.S.,” with David E.
    • Burnstein, Ana Danies, and Gerry Keith, 06/19/2013 Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1674082
    • “ABA Section of Antitrust Law,” Telecom Antitrust Handbook, Second Edition, Chicago: American Bar Association, 03/2013, Contributing author
    • “An Analysis of the Economic Impact of Increasing the Price of Electricity in Puerto Rico,” co-authored with Dr. Justin Lenzo, a macroeconomic analysis using a dynamic general equilibrium regional model of the anticipated effects of electric utility price increases and debt restructuring on the economy of Puerto Rico, 08/2016.