RECENT NEWS
Reuters  Jan 28  Comment 
Qualcomm Inc reduced its outlook for fiscal 2015, saying it expects its newest Snapdragon mobile chip will not be used in a major customer's flagship smartphone, sending its shares lower.
Reuters  Jan 27  Comment 
Supermarket chains Albertsons and Safeway agreed to sell 168 stores in eight states to win U.S. antitrust approval for their $9.2 billion merger, the Federal Trade...
Financial Times  Jan 25  Comment 
Architect of Beijing’s antitrust laws says they are being used in a turf war between regulators
Benzinga  Jan 21  Comment 
Morgan Stanley on Wednesday commented on the Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) and Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE: BHI) merger. Regarding the proposed merger between the two oil companies analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote, “We believe that the...
Forbes  Jan 21  Comment 
A recent appeals-court decision upholding Major League Baseball's 90-year-old antitrust exemption could bode well for the NCAA in its fight over pay for student athletes.
Reuters  Jan 20  Comment 
European Union antitrust regulators have resumed their scrutiny of Orange's bid for Spanish peer Jazztel after the French telecoms operator provided details of the...
New York Times  Jan 20  Comment 
Günther Oettinger, the European Union’s digital economy commissioner, said that while he respected what Google’s founders had achieved, the company must honor European rules.
TheStreet.com  Jan 16  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple are trading lower by 1.04% to $105.71 on Friday, after the iPhone maker, along with Google , agreed to pay $415 million yesterday in a second attempt to resolve a class-action lawsuit alleging they...
Wall Street Journal  Jan 15  Comment 
Dollar General said its efforts to acquire Family Dollar Stores face higher-than-expected hurdles from antitrust regulators.




 
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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