RECENT NEWS
TechCrunch  Jan 19  Comment 
 Since 2003, Amazon-owned Audible has been the sole proprietor of audiobook on iTunes, a deal that has ruffled plenty of publishing feathers and raised some antitrust red flags around the world. According to The European Commission, the two tech...
Reuters  Jan 19  Comment 
* Has received early termination of waiting period under Hart-Scott-Rodino Act with respect to proposed acquisition of Stillwater by Sibanye
Wall Street Journal  Jan 18  Comment 
Irish drugmaker Mallinckrodt and a U.S. subsidiary will pay $100 million and agree to other conditions to settle government antitrust allegations they unlawfully prevented competition for Acthar, a drug that has seen enormous price spikes in...
BBC News  Jan 18  Comment 
The firm is accused by US antitrust regulator of unfair practices in the way it licenses technology.
MarketWatch  Jan 18  Comment 
An antitrust lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission against Qualcomm Inc.puts a dark cloud over a chip company that had managed to battle back from a steep stock drop.
Motley Fool  Jan 17  Comment 
A yearslong regulatory investigation may turn into an antitrust suit.
Wall Street Journal  Jan 17  Comment 
The Federal Trade Commission sued Qualcomm Inc., alleging the semiconductor company engaged in unlawful tactics to maintain a monopoly on a type of chip used in cellphones.
Yahoo  Jan 17  Comment 
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc on Tuesday, accusing the company of antitrust violations in its patent licensing business. The FTC, which works with the Justice Department to enforce antitrust law, said that...
Forbes  Jan 17  Comment 
Despite his initial populist opposition to the AT&T-TimeWarner mega-deal, Donald Trump has signaled with recent appointments that his administration may look more favorably on larger corporate deals than anticipated.
Forbes  Jan 17  Comment 
Electric racing series Formula E accounts for at most just 5% of the number of hours of major motorsport events viewed on television in Britain according to a report from the country’s anti-trust regulator. In contrast its petrol-powered...




 
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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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