RECENT NEWS
Forbes  Feb 22  Comment 
Welcome to the real new world order in which China selectively enforces its bizarre anti-trust laws to keep U.S corporations off balance.
Benzinga  Feb 20  Comment 
A federal court in Maryland yesterday ruled in favor of Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: LYV) and summarily dismissed all claims in a lawsuit filed in 2009 by It's My Party, Inc., and It's My Amphitheatre, Inc., whose principal is...
TheStreet.com  Feb 20  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- American Express shares are up 1.06% to $79.22 in trading today despite a federal judge's ruling late yesterday that the credit card company violated U.S. antitrust laws by forbidding merchants from encouraging customers...
USAToday.com  Feb 20  Comment 
Russia looks at whether Google violated anti-monopoly law after a complaint from Yandex.
Benzinga  Feb 20  Comment 
American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) loss of a federal antitrust lawsuit won't hurt its business, an analyst said Thursday. Morgan Stanley's Cheryl M. Pate said that in practice, merchants have long ignored language in their American Express...
Wall Street Journal  Feb 20  Comment 
A U.S. judge ruled that American Express’s rules for merchants violate antitrust law, the second major setback in a week for CEO Kenneth Chenault.
Jutia Group  Feb 19  Comment 
[Reuters] - American Express Co violated U.S. antitrust law by prohibiting merchants from steering consumers to use lower-cost credit cards, a federal judge ruled on Thursday, in the company's second major setback this month. The decision by U.S....
Forbes  Feb 19  Comment 
Exactly one week after announcing the loss of its exclusivity deal with Costco, American Express has been dealt another blow -- and this one comes from the United States Department of Justice. A district judge has ruled against the credit card...
New York Times  Feb 19  Comment 
The company has long barred merchants from encouraging customers to pay with credit cards that charge lower fees.
Motley Fool  Feb 19  Comment 
Qualcomm is being investigating by other countries, but it won't spell doom for the mobile juggernaut.




 
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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