RECENT NEWS
Wall Street Journal  Mar 4  Comment 
A federal judge set a May 5 start date for court hearings on the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against the merger of the nation’s two largest food distributors, Sysco Corp. and U.S. Foods Inc.
Forbes  Mar 3  Comment 
SolarCity just changed the rules of the game in the utility business. On Monday, the San Mateo, CA-based distributed solar company filed a lawsuit in federal court in Arizona alleging that the Salt River Project (SRP), a utility based in...
Forbes  Mar 3  Comment 
Most sports fans remember American Needle Inc. from its antitrust lawsuit against the NFL that challenged the league's attempt to give exclusive apparel licensing rights to Reebok -- a move that squeezed American Needle from the NFL licensing...
Wall Street Journal  Mar 3  Comment 
Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt met the European Union’s new antitrust chief in Brussels, ahead of a key decision on where to take the bloc’s long-running investigation into the U.S. search giant.
GenEng News  Mar 2  Comment 
In 2013, the FTC left its mark on the pharmaceutical industry when the Supreme Court ruled in FTC v. Actavis that settlement agreements for patent infringement suits between branded and generic drug companies are not immune from antitrust...
Wall Street Journal  Mar 2  Comment 
The cargo unit of German state railway Deutsche Bahn has reached a settlement with three airlines that colluded to inflate airfreight fees, increasing pressure on three other airlines still targeted by the U.S. lawsuit.
MedPage Today  Feb 28  Comment 
(MedPage Today) -- March 20 is the new deadline for attesting to Meaningful Use.
MedPage Today  Feb 26  Comment 
(MedPage Today) -- When practitioners set rules to restrict who can practice, federal antitrust rules may come into play.
NPR  Feb 26  Comment 
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a North Carolina case that a board made up largely of dentists may not regulate whitening services.
Wall Street Journal  Feb 26  Comment 
The Supreme Court ruled the FTC had the authority to take action against a North Carolina dental board for alleged antitrust violations, a decision that protects the power of antitrust enforcers.




 
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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