RECENT NEWS
Benzinga  Feb 3  Comment 
State-owned ChemChina has officially made an aggressive $43 billion bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides company Syngenta AG (ADR) (NYSE: SYT). Following confirmation of the deal, Benzinga had the chance to speak with Chris Pultz of the Kellner...
MarketWatch  Jan 28  Comment 
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an antitrust probe of the National Football League and the way it sets ticket prices, media reports said on Thursday. Citing a person with knowledge of the investigation, Bloomberg said...
Reuters  Jan 27  Comment 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday appointed attorney Michal Halperin to run Israel's Anti-Trust Authority after a dispute over the country's natural gas reserves led to the resignation of her predecessor.
Reuters  Jan 22  Comment 
Italy's competition watchdog is checking whether Arnoldo Mondadori's acquisition of rival RCS MediaGroup's book unit would give the publisher controlled by the family of former...
Yahoo  Jan 22  Comment 
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is investigating Turing Pharmaceuticals for possible antitrust violations in connection with the company's decision to hike the price of a life-saving drug by more than 5,000 percent, a lawyer for former Chief...
Yahoo  Jan 20  Comment 
Staples said on Wednesday it would extend the termination date of the proposed acquisition to May 16 from Feb. 4, the previous deadline to settle antitrust issues. The FTC sued to block the deal in early December, arguing the combination would...
Reuters  Jan 20  Comment 
* Says final antitrust approval for UTi acquisition has been obtained
TechCrunch  Jan 18  Comment 
 The European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has fired a warning shot about the competition risks posed by dominant tech platforms that harvest vast amounts of personal data, suggesting big data operators such as...
Clusterstock  Jan 18  Comment 
By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS - NBCUniversal, Disney and four other U.S. studios together with Sky UK on Monday rebuffed European Union charges of anti-competitive movie-licensing deals in a crucial hearing ahead of a decision later this year. The...




 
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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