RECENT NEWS
Wall Street Journal  Oct 15  Comment 
Europe’s antitrust chief criticized what he called the “irrational” response by European politicians to his probe of Google, and said separately that more investigations of sweetheart tax deals may lie ahead.
Wall Street Journal  Oct 15  Comment 
Deutsche Telekom and subsidiary Slovak Telekom have been fined $88 million for shutting out rivals from the Slovak market for broadband services.
Automotive World  Oct 14  Comment 
BY MANMEET MALHI: What’s the difference between the antitrust investigations into foreign OEMs in China and similar investigations in the EU and N. America? The post COMMENT: Roaring dragon, crouching giants – foreign OEMs face antitrust in...
Wall Street Journal  Oct 13  Comment 
Jean Tirole, a French economist whose theories about the behavior of large companies underpin modern antitrust regulation, has won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science.
Wall Street Journal  Oct 9  Comment 
U.K. delivery company Royal Mail has reached a settlement agreement with the French competition authority over allegations it breached antitrust laws in the postal market.
Benzinga  Oct 6  Comment 
General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) announced that on October 3, 2014, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of the required waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. With the...
SeekingAlpha  Oct 4  Comment 
By John Lovallo: M&A activity over the past year hasn't just rebounded. It's as if someone opened the flood gates and torrents of cheap money (we can thank the Federal Reserve) came rushing down the river. Everyone's wanted to ride the...
Mondo Visione  Oct 3  Comment 
The Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge a proposal by CyberPoint International LLC to offer a cyber intelligence data-sharing platform known as TruSTAR.   The TruSTAR platform allows members to share threat and...
Reuters  Oct 3  Comment 
EU antitrust regulators closed on Friday an investigation into Deutsche Telekom, Orange SA and Telefonica, saying they had found no evidence the telecoms providers shut...




 
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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