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CNNMoney.com  9 hrs ago  Comment 
Microsoft finds itself in the cross hairs of the Chinese government -- again.
SeekingAlpha  11 hrs ago  Comment 
By Doug Young: US software giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the subject of 2 major news stories today, casting a spotlight on a pair of very different trends involving e-commerce and foreign companies in China. The first news bit has the world's...
BBC News  Jul 29  Comment 
An anti-monopoly investigation into US technology giant Microsoft is launched by Chinese authorities.
Financial Times  Jul 28  Comment 
Latest setback for the software company follows reports of the Chinese government discouraging purchases of US technology products
Wall Street Journal  Jul 28  Comment 
Cal-Maine Foods swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit amid improving sales and as the year-earlier period was weighed down by an antitrust litigation settlement.
Yahoo  Jul 28  Comment 
Microsoft Corp appears to be the latest U.S. company targeted by China for antitrust investigation as government officials paid sudden visits to the software firm's Chinese offices on Monday. Representatives from China's State Administration for...
Forbes  Jul 25  Comment 
Last Friday, USA Today reported that the NCAA eliminated its name-and-likeness release from its Division I forms  -- a decision that was likely in response to plaintiffs' antitrust challenge in the Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing...
Reuters  Jul 24  Comment 
Verso Paper Corp's plan to buy privately held rival NewPage Corp could well be approved by U.S. regulators, even though the new company would make more than half the coated ...
New York Times  Jul 23  Comment 
An antitrust inquiry into Google’s search engine and advertising business could last for many years.
Reuters  Jul 23  Comment 
Spain's Telefonica SA is "clearly working to address" antitrust issues in Brazil, where it faces scrutiny from direct and indirect participation in two of the nation's biggest...




 
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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