RECENT NEWS
Wall Street Journal  9 hrs ago  Comment 
Antitrust enforcers are preparing to give the green light to two major deals in the health-care industry, CVS Health’s planned acquisition of health insurer Aetna and Cigna’s planned purchase of Express Scripts.
Wall Street Journal  Sep 5  Comment 
The legal and economic case against T-Mobile/Sprint is far stronger than against AT&T/Time Warner. If the Justice Department waves through the deal, questions would be raised about its fealty to antitrust principles.
Financial Times  Sep 4  Comment 
MoffettNathanson worries about market concentration.
Reuters  Aug 31  Comment 
CK Hutchison secured EU antitrust approval on Friday for its 2.45 billion euro ($2.9 billion) deal to buy out Veon from their Italian joint venture Wind Tre.
Yahoo  Aug 30  Comment 
President Donald Trump, stepping up his criticism of technology firms he says are favoring liberal points of view, said they may be in a “very antitrust situation” but repeatedly said he can’t comment publicly on whether they should be...
MarketWatch  Aug 30  Comment 
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, asked the Federal Trade Commission to revisit its decision not to pursue antitrust charges against Alphabet Inc.'s Google for its search and digital advertising practices. In a letter to the FTC, Hatch noted that the...
Flightglobal  Aug 30  Comment 
American Airlines and Qantas Airways are threatening further schedule reductions between Australia and the USA if the latter does not grant them antitrust immunity for a joint venture.
MarketWatch  Aug 30  Comment 
Medical goods supplier Henry Schein Inc. said Thursday it expects to settle class-action litigation in a case brought in New York and will book a charge in the third quarter. The case, Re Dental Supplies Antitrust Litigation, No....
Reuters  Aug 27  Comment 
Germany's antitrust regulator will examine a deal by utility groups RWE and E.ON to carve up Innogy with a focus on a cross-shareholding between the two firms that is part of the transaction.




 
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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