RECENT NEWS
Wall Street Journal  2 hrs ago  Comment 
A decade-old class-action suit being argued in court this week examines whether Apple violated antitrust laws by preventing the iPod from playing songs from other companies’ music stores.
Yahoo  5 hrs ago  Comment 
In 2005, Mariah Carey had the number one single, "Grey's Anatomy" was among the hottest shows on television, and Steve Jobs and Apple Inc. (AAPL)'s iPod were king. Customers of rival music players ...
Yahoo  Dec 1  Comment 
European Union antitrust regulators will decide by Jan. 14 whether to clear two asset trade deals between Swiss drugmaker Novartis and British rival GlaxoSmithKline, the European Commission said on Monday. ...
Wall Street Journal  Nov 26  Comment 
A federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out antitrust claims by phone maker Motorola Mobility that sought damages from Asian electronics companies for alleged price fixing on liquid-crystal-display panels.
Forbes  Nov 26  Comment 
Europe’s competition commissioner has vowed “to look into” allegations by a British politician that Formula One’s governing body may have breached an anti-trust settlement by taking a 1% stake in the series.
Reuters  Nov 26  Comment 
U.S. antitrust regulators on Wednesday approved a pair of major deals in the medical field, including Medtronic's purchase of Covidien, which will allow it to take...
Wall Street Journal  Nov 25  Comment 
The U.S. has waded into a European debate over a possible breakup of Google, expressing concern about the politicization of antitrust probes a day before EU legislators are set to debate an ‘unbundling’ proposal.
New York Times  Nov 22  Comment 
A deal in the antitrust case would give consumers $400 million in cash and e-book credits, and lawyers $50 million. But an appeal is still pending.
Reuters  Nov 21  Comment 
Sysco Corp , the biggest U.S. food distributor, is in advanced talks to sell some assets to a food company owned by Blackstone Group in order to win regulatory approval for its...
FiercePharma  Nov 17  Comment 
After months of percolating discontent about generic drug price hikes, the U.S. Senate is hauling drugmakers to a hearing this week. But the real threat lies at the Department of Justice, which is likely considering criminal prosecution for...




 
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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