RECENT NEWS  Jun 25  Comment 
NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Four law firms with prominent antitrust practices sided with Monsanto contention that its proposed acquisition of Syngenta would face little antitrust risk in an analysis of the merger circulated Thursday. Lawyers...
Reuters  Jun 24  Comment 
Zimmer Holdings Inc said it closed a $14 billion deal to buy rival orthopedic products maker Biomet Inc [LVBHAB.UL] on Wednesday shortly after winning U.S. antitrust approval...
Forbes  Jun 24  Comment 
From Google to Amazon to the airline sector, antitrust enforcers have been unable to strike at companies with market dominance or industries dominated by a few players.
Wall Street Journal  Jun 24  Comment 
Ten-week deadline to respond to charges that the U.S. tech giant skews search results to favor its own comparison-shopping service is now up.
Wall Street Journal  Jun 24  Comment 
A federal judge sided with the FTC on an antitrust challenge to the merger of Sysco and US Foods, potentially dealing a fatal blow to the planned combination of the two food-distribution companies.
Wall Street Journal  Jun 23  Comment 
A federal judge sided with the FTC on an antitrust challenge to the merger of Sysco and US Foods, potentially dealing a fatal blow to the planned combination of the two food-distribution companies.
Yahoo  Jun 22  Comment 
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc (ANTM.N) on Monday dismissed concerns that buying smaller competitor Cigna Corp (CI.N) would be considered anti-competitive, even as antitrust experts said the combination would earn...
Jutia Group  Jun 22  Comment 
[Reuters] - Anthem Inc CEO Joseph Swedish said on Monday that the company has looked closely at how antitrust authorities would view an acquisition of Cigna Corp and does not see any "substantive" issues. Swedish said that the company also does...
New York Times  Jun 19  Comment 
Regulators say that Google uses its 90 percent market share in Europe to favor its own services over those of rivals like Microsoft.
Yahoo  Jun 19  Comment 
Apple's efforts to break into the streaming music business have attracted considerable attention from fans, investors, analysts and even a few lawyers in Washington, D.C.


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.


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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