RECENT NEWS
CNNMoney.com  Apr 24  Comment 
An otherwise staid antitrust trial reached a dramatic crescendo Tuesday as the trial for the Justice Department lawsuit to stop AT&T and Time Warner's merger neared its end.
The Times of India  Apr 24  Comment 
President Donald Trump's trade fight with China moved inside the white marble walls of the US Supreme Court on Tuesday, where lawyers for both countries faced off over whether Chinese companies can be held liable for violating US antitrust laws.
MarketWatch  Apr 24  Comment 
Antitrust authorities are concerned a deal to buy the popular song-recognition app could reduce choice for users of music-streaming services
Motley Fool  Apr 23  Comment 
The European Commission has opened a new investigation into the Mac maker's proposed acquisition of Shazam.
Financial Times  Apr 23  Comment 
Antitrust investigation into bridging loans complicates airline’s already delayed sale process
CNNMoney.com  Apr 23  Comment 
Every morning for the past four weeks of the AT&T antitrust trial, the people in courtroom 18 of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stand for Judge Richard Leon as he enters and approaches the bench, clad in a bow tie and gown.
Reuters  Apr 20  Comment 
South Korea's antitrust chief on Friday said he expects Samsung Group to unravel its governance structure in the near future, as the government and investors call for reform of the country's powerful family-controlled conglomerates, or chaebols.
Reuters  Apr 20  Comment 
Russia's antitrust regulator FAS has approved Bayer's planned $62.5 billion takeover of Monsanto, a Bayer spokesman said on Friday.
Wall Street Journal  Apr 19  Comment 
China intensified the tit-for-tat trade battle with the U.S., with antitrust regulators warning that they have “hard to resolve” concerns about Qualcomm’s planned $44 billion purchase of NXP Semiconductors, potentially creating a stumbling...




 
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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