RECENT NEWS
TechCrunch  Dec 16  Comment 
 A jury has found in favor of Apple in a lawsuit brought against it for DRM practices employed in iTunes, which claimed it was in violation of U.S. antitrust regulations owing to decisions it made regarding software updates. The case essentially...
New York Times  Dec 16  Comment 
In a class-action case that kicked around courts for 10 years, a jury rejected claims that Apple acted to secure a monopoly over digital music.
CNNMoney.com  12 hrs ago  Comment 
Benzinga  Dec 16  Comment 
Medical Properties Trust, Inc. (the “Company” or “MPT”) (NYSE: MPW) announced that MEDIAN Kliniken Group has received regulatory approvals from the German antitrust authorities to complete its sale to affiliates of Waterland Private Equity...
Yahoo  Dec 15  Comment 
European Union antitrust regulators opened an extensive investigation into a proposal by Mondelez International Inc and competitor D.E Master Blenders 1753 to combine their coffee businesses, concerned ...
Forbes  Dec 15  Comment 
Plaintiff lawyers who lost their previous clients come up with a new one to try and keep a $1 billion antitrust suit against Apple alive.
Wall Street Journal  Dec 15  Comment 
Online travel agent Booking.com has pledged to soften a contested clause in its contract with hotels in Europe, after several antitrust regulators warned that it could harm competition.
New York Times  Dec 11  Comment 
Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s competition commissioner, said there was a need to update information in the case.




 
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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