RECENT NEWS
Benzinga  2 hrs ago  Comment 
The European Union on Wednesday formally accused Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) of abusing its market dominance in web search. The E.U.'s competition commission said that Google would have to face legal consequences and change the...
Wall Street Journal  4 hrs ago  Comment 
A husband-and-wife team that set up price comparison-shopping website Foundem is the unlikely instigator of Google’s antitrust woes.
New York Times  5 hrs ago  Comment 
The charge focuses on accusations that the company diverts traffic from its rivals to favor its own products and services, particularly websites for shopping.
Clusterstock  5 hrs ago  Comment 
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has formally accused Google of antitrust violations in Europe and begun an investigation into Android. The EU on Wednesday released three separate statements on the subject. You can read them...
TechCrunch  Apr 14  Comment 
 Following reports about the European Union preparing to file formal charges against Google in its ongoing antitrust investigation, Google General Counsel Kent Walker has issued an internal memo to all employees. TechCrunch obtained the memo and...
Wall Street Journal  Apr 14  Comment 
Europe’s antitrust regulator has decided to file formal charges against Google for violating the bloc’s antitrust laws, stepping up a five-year investigation that is set to become one of the biggest competition battles in Brussels.
New York Times  Apr 12  Comment 
Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s antitrust regulator, is expected to change course with her predecessor and file charges that could hasten a settlement.
Benzinga  Apr 10  Comment 
Margrethe Vestager is taking her time to examine all angles of the antitrust probe against Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL), but the newly appointed EU Antitrust Commissioner said she is getting closer to completing her investigation into...
Yahoo  Apr 9  Comment 
After waiting more than four years for Brussels to resolve his anti-trust complaint against Google while traffic to his website plunged by 80 percent, Michael Weber of German online mapping service Hot-Map.com held out little hope of success. He...
New York Times  Apr 3  Comment 
New developments offer the latest sign that American tech giants face intensifying scrutiny in Europe that could curb their profits in the region and affect how they operate around the world.




 
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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