RECENT NEWS
The Economist  Apr 12  Comment 
ONE sign that monopolies are a problem in America is that the University of Chicago has just held a summit on the threat that they may pose to the world’s biggest economy. Until recently, convening a conference supporting antitrust concerns in...
Motley Fool  Apr 5  Comment 
It doesn't even matter if the FTC suit goes away, because Apple's isn't going anywhere.
New York Times  Apr 4  Comment 
The China National Chemical Corp, or ChemChina, has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy Switzerland's Syngenta AG on condition that it divest three products, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.
Wall Street Journal  Apr 4  Comment 
Staples is exploring a sale, less than a year after its effort to merge with rival retailer Office Depot failed on antitrust grounds. The one-time “category killer” office-supplies seller is in talks with a small number of possible...
Forbes  Mar 29  Comment 
By shining a spotlight on the FTC's vital efforts to combat the use of government to limit competition, Acting Chairman Ohlhausen's "Economic Liberty" agenda makes a strong case that she's no actor.
New York Times  Mar 28  Comment 
A member of President Donald Trump's transition team, Makan Delrahim, will be nominated to head the U.S. Justice Department's Antitrust Division, the White House said on Monday.
Wall Street Journal  Mar 27  Comment 
Dow Chemical and DuPont clinched regulatory approval for their merger from the European Union’s competition watchdog on condition they divest several businesses to address antitrust concerns.
Financial Times  Mar 26  Comment 
Busy week for antitrust authorities as Deutsche Börse-LSE deal expected to be blocked
Wall Street Journal  Mar 24  Comment 
The European Union’s unusual reassessment of past mergers could lead to significant fines and suggests the bloc could be preparing charges similar to those it leveled against Facebook late last year.




 
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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