RECENT NEWS
Reuters  May 22  Comment 
European Union antitrust regulators are to put major financial services firms under the microscope by examining the impact of syndicated loans on credit markets.
Reuters  May 22  Comment 
EU antitrust regulators will rule in the "next few months" whether Alphabet's Google abused its dominance of internet searches and other areas, a senior European Commission official said on Monday, an outcome that could lead to a hefty fine.
Financial Times  May 22  Comment 
Michael Rosenthal will join from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati to lead Brussels work 
Financial Times  May 19  Comment 
Ravenous appetite puts antitrust watchdog’s powers to the test
Forbes  May 18  Comment 
After rallying last year, chipmaker Qualcomm’s stock price has declined so far this year. Though the company has witnessed growth in recent quarters, the various fines, litigation, patent issues, and antitrust charges slapped on Qualcomm...
MedPage Today  May 17  Comment 
(MedPage Today) -- AAPA talk highlights how federal agency helps foster competition
MarketWatch  May 15  Comment 
Tronc Inc. , the former Tribune Publishing, said late Monday it has entered into a nonbinding letter of intent to buy Wrapports Holdings LLC, the owner of the Chicago Sun-Times and other media assets, which include the Reader, a pioneering...
FiercePharma  May 15  Comment 
Upon receiving information that Aspen Pharmacare has taken steep price increases on lifesaving cancer medications and threatened to pull its products in order to get the hikes through, European antitrust regulators have pledged to take a close...




 
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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