New York Times  2 hrs ago  Comment 
Antitrust regulators need to examine whether the AT&T-Time Warner deal would squelch competition or limit consumer choice.
Wall Street Journal  4 hrs ago  Comment 
AT&T’s $85.4 billion deal to buy Time Warner sails toward two cresting waves of opposition: resurgent antitrust enforcement in Washington and politicians fired by a new bipartisan populist rage.  Oct 24  Comment 
BASEL (dpa-AFX) - Syngenta AG (SYT) and China National Chemical Corp., known as ChemChina, didn't submit proposed remedies to resolve potential antitrust concerns related to their planned merger by October 21 deadline, the European Union said...  Oct 24  Comment 
HomeVi S.A.S. today announced that its subsidiary GeriaVi S.L. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the business of SARquavitae group in a transaction valuing SARquavitae at c. €440 million on an enterprise...
Financial Times  Oct 24  Comment 
Deal likely to prompt backlash from eastern European capitals
Reuters  Oct 23  Comment 
An acquisition of Time Warner Inc by AT&T Inc. could raise significant antitrust issues that the U.S. Senate committee on antitrust would carefully examine, the chairman and ranking member of the committee said Sunday.
Wall Street Journal  Oct 22  Comment 
In their review of Microsoft’s $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, European Union antitrust regulators are attempting to measure the rough value of the professional network’s data and whether rival sites can replicate it.
Forbes  Oct 20  Comment 
Michael Dolan is the chief information security officer (CISO) for Element Fleet Management. Dolan has more than 17 years of experience in information security, privacy, compliance, and operational risk management, including executive roles at...  Oct 18  Comment 
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Steel Dynamics, Inc. (STLD) said it has entered into an agreement to settle the direct purchaser class action litigation, Standard Iron Works v. Arcelor Mittal, et al, for $4.6 million. The antitrust lawsuit was brought in...


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.


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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