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Yahoo  Jan 5  Comment 
A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected the U.S. government's request that it reconsider its decision allowing American Express Co (AXP.N) to stop merchants from encouraging customers to use rival cards that charge lower fees. Without...
Reuters  Jan 5  Comment 
* Moody's: ChemChina's rating unaffected by EU's extended anti-trust investigation into Syngenta acquisition
Mondo Visione  Jan 4  Comment 
A foreign currency exchange (FX) dealer pleaded guilty to participating in a price-fixing conspiracy in the FX market, the Justice Department announced today.   According to the one-count information filed in the U.S. District Court for the...
Financial Times  Jan 3  Comment 
Antitrust body’s limited budget will become even more stretched, lawyers warn
guardian.co.uk  Jan 3  Comment 
Company aims to see off European commission’s anti-trust concerns over proposed £21bn deal The London Stock Exchange Group is to sell its 50% stake in the French clearing arm of LCH to Euronext in a €510m (£433m) deal. LSE Group has sold...
Wall Street Journal  Dec 28  Comment 
A South Korean regulator said it would fine Qualcomm about $853 million for alleged antitrust violations, as the U.S. chip maker faces global scrutiny over its patent-licensing business.€
New York Times  Dec 28  Comment 
Russia’s state-owned energy company, which supplies a third of the European Union’s gas, is accused of overcharging customers in Eastern and Central Europe.
Yahoo  Dec 28  Comment 
Healthcare company Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N) has won U.S. antitrust approval for its proposed $25 billion acquisition of medical device maker St. Jude Medical Inc (STJ.N), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday. Abbott agreed to...
Yahoo  Dec 27  Comment 
Healthcare company Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N) has won U.S. antitrust approval for its proposed $25 billion acquisition of medical device maker St. Jude Medical Inc (STJ.N), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday. Abbott agreed to...
Financial Times  Dec 27  Comment 
Russian energy giant seeks to escape fines with changes to how it sells gas in Europe




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS


US antitrust legislation or "competition law" focuses on three kinds of activity discouraging to competition: monopoly, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and price fixing.

Monopolies and M&A are both regulated to keep companies from becoming too large or powerful within a single or a few industry sectors. M&A activity is particularly worth noting: many industries have been undergoing a phase of general consolidation in the past few years, and U.S. M&A activity has risen more than 31% since 2005 (2006 saw more than US$ 1.5 trillion's worth of activity). Price fixing is also carefully watched to prevent some companies from gaining an "unfair" advantage; antritrust lawsuits in this category tend to target cartels (groups of nominally independent companies that try to artificially establish relatively high prices by agreement across a number of market players).

U.S. Democrats are traditionally harder on antitrust than their Republican counterparts, and the 2008 presidential election will play an important part in determining the strength of the next round of antitrust legislation. In naming his new attorney general and head of the Federal Trade Commission, the new president will heavily influence the political leanings of the two departments with the most control over the outcome of antitrust lawsuits: the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.

Antitrust Losers

  • TXU and other large utility companies are at risk of antitrust lawsuits for various price-fixing or merger/acquisitions practices. The utilities sector is a particularly common antiturst target because of the high fixed costs/barrier to entry.
    • Telephony/communications, oil, chemicals manufacturing, banking, and cable industries are also strongly at risk for antitrust lawsuits.
  • Microsoft, Apple, and recently even Google are examples of companies that are dominant enough in an industry that any further merger/acquisitions activity is immediately under antitrust activity.

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Antitrust Winners

Legal and economic advisory firms like FTI Consulting, LECG, CRA International, Navigant Consulting, and Huron Consulting Group stand to benefit in all antitrust cases, as they assist parties on both sides by providing trial support services and expert testimony.

To Be Determined

  • XM and Sirius entered into a merger agreement in March 2007 which would leave only one company in the U.S. satellite radio business. Given that neither company has ever generated positive income, a combined company would likely eliminate overlapping costs and optimize operating efficiency. The companies argue against anti-trust worries, claiming their merged company would face heavy competition from traditional radio companies such as Clear Channel Communications (CCU) and CBS (CBS) as well as other audio options for consumers, such as iPods. It wasn't until July 29, 2008, that the two parent companies were able to have completed the long awaited merger. This meant that Sirius Satellite Radio had completed its acquisition of XM Satellite Radio and combining the two radio services to create a single satellite radio network in the United States.This merger brought the combined companies an approximate total of more than 18.5 million subscribers based on current subscriber numbers on the date of merging.
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