RECENT NEWS
The Economic Times  Jul 16  Comment 
EU regulators have brought a third antitrust charge against Alphabet's Google, accusing it of blocking rivals in online search advertising, a move that raises the pressure on the company to modify its practices or face hefty fines.
TechCrunch  Jul 14  Comment 
 After years of battles in Brussels and beyond, search giant Google has come under yet more fire from antitrust regulators in Europe concerned about the its dominance in online advertising. Today, the European Commission announced that it has...
BBC News  Jul 14  Comment 
The European Commission steps up pressure on Google, alleging that it abused its dominance in internet shopping and restricted competition.
New York Times  Jul 14  Comment 
The claims relate to some of the search giant’s online advertising tools and parts of its search business linked to online shopping.
Banking Business Review  Jul 14  Comment 
Huntington Bancshares has obtained US antitrust approval to acquire FirstMerit as both the entities agreed to sell some of their branches, said the Justice Department.
Reuters  Jul 13  Comment 
Huntington Bancshares Inc , which owns Huntington National Bank and has branches in six states, has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy FirstMerit Corp on the condition...
Reuters  Jul 13  Comment 
* Allergan Spokesman says in emailed statement that antitrust clearance is "imminent" and agrees with Teva view that deal closing is "any time now" (Reporting By Caroline Humer)
Reuters  Jul 13  Comment 
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd said on Wednesday it expected its $40 billion deal to buy Allergan Plc's generics business to close "at any time," even as the...
Reuters  Jul 13  Comment 
- EU antitrust regulators have put their in-depth probe of U.S. rail component maker Wabtec Corp's $1.8 billion bid for French peer Faiveley Transport on hold because...
Mondo Visione  Jul 13  Comment 
The Department of Justice announced today that ValueAct has agreed to pay $11 million to settle allegations that certain ValueAct entities violated the reporting and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act...




 
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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