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Clusterstock  Aug 13  Comment 
BEIJING (Reuters) - The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China on Wednesday expressed concern over a recent series of antitrust investigations, saying China was using strong-arm tactics and appeared to be unfairly targeting foreign firms. An...
New York Times  Aug 13  Comment 
The adviser to a government group received “large payments” from the technology company, whose pricing is being investigated, state news media said.
Insurance Journal  Aug 13  Comment 
The European Commission (EC) has issued a questionnaire to seek the views of stakeholders on the functioning and the future of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (IBER), which exempts certain agreements between companies in the insurance...
Wall Street Journal  Aug 12  Comment 
Tyson FoodsInc. and Hillshire Brands Co. have received requests for additional information from the Justice Department's Antitrust Division in connection with Tyson's pending $7.7 billion purchase of Hillshire.
Bloomberg  Aug 12  Comment 
China’s State Council removed an adviser on antitrust matters from his position because of disciplinary violations, China News Service reported on its website, without citing anyone.
New York Times  Aug 12  Comment 
Audi was recently a target in an antitrust investigation by Beijing, which is examining prices for replacement parts.
New York Times  Aug 12  Comment 
Audi was also recently a target in an antitrust investigation by Beijing, which is examining prices for replacement parts.
BusinessWeek  Aug 12  Comment 
Fixing the situation, it turns out, is more difficult than pointing out the problems in the O'Bannon vs. NCAA antitrust ruling




 
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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