RECENT NEWS
Reuters  Jul 9  Comment 
Siemens and Alstom are set to face a full-scale EU antitrust investigation this week after declining to provide concessions to allay regulatory concerns about their plan to combine their rail operations, two people familiar with the matter said.
Insurance Journal  Jul 6  Comment 
South Africans are paying too much for private healthcare, the country’s antitrust watchdog said on Thursday, adding patients are sometimes prescribed treatments they don’t need by an industry with limited competition. Presenting its findings...
MarketWatch  Jul 5  Comment 
Rep. Todd Rokita, a conservative Republican from Indiana, has called for the federal government to reopen an antitrust investigation Google's search engine. In a letter Thursday to the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department, Rokita...
Reuters  Jul 5  Comment 
Singapore's anti-trust body proposed fines on Grab and Uber Technologies and warned it may have to unwind the two ride-hailing firms' merger as the deal substantially lessened competition.
New York Times  Jul 4  Comment 
The United States needs an approach to merger regulation that supports transactions that create enterprises capable of standing head-to-head with the tech giants.
FiercePharma  Jul 2  Comment 
A U.S. judge ordered AbbVie and a partner to pay nearly $450 million for illegally blocking AndroGel competition with "sham" patent lawsuits.
MarketWatch  Jun 30  Comment 
AbbVie Inc. says it will appeal a $448 million penalty by the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that it overcharged consumers.
MarketWatch  Jun 29  Comment 
AbbVie Inc. was hit with a $448 million judgement late Friday for allegedly overcharging consumers, according to the Federal Trade Commission. In 2014, the FTC alleged AbbVie and its partner Besins Healthcare Inc. blocked consumer access to lower...
Channel News Asia  Jun 27  Comment 
WASHINGTON: Walt Disney Co has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy most of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s assets for US$71.3 billion on the condition that it sell 22 regional sports networks, the Justice Department said on Wednesday. The...




 
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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