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Wall Street Journal  Jul 24  Comment 
Anthem successfully held the line in merger talks with Cigna. But antitrust issues should keep investors from celebrating for now.
Benzinga  Jul 24  Comment 
The European Union's overhaul of the region's digital market has seen many major US tech companies come under fire. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) is being questioned about its privacy policy, Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has been accused...
New York Times  Jul 23  Comment 
According to the deal, if Sesac cannot agree with the committee on fees, they will be set by a third party. Sesac must also pay $3.6 million in legal costs.
Forbes  Jul 23  Comment 
The European Commission has launched a formal investigation into the business practices of  Sky UK and six major U.S. film studios.
TheStreet.com  Jul 23  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had expressed opposition to Halliburton's acquisition of Baker Hughes  , Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank said that the news reported by Bloomberg was...
New York Times  Jul 23  Comment 
The bloc, which opened the investigation in January 2014, said the companies prevented consumers from gaining access to content outside Sky UK’s licensed territory of Britain and Ireland.
Benzinga  Jul 22  Comment 
Joel Elconin is the co-host of Benzinga's #PreMarket Prep, a daily trading idea radio show. Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) shares were trading lower by $0.50 at $41.36 in Wednesday's session. It has been a volatile day for the issue as 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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