RECENT NEWS
Reuters  Jul 13  Comment 
EU antitrust regulators opened an in-depth investigation on Friday into a plan by Siemens and Alstom to merge their rail businesses, saying that the deal could reduce competition for trains and signalling systems.
Yahoo  Jul 12  Comment 
The U.S. Justice Department said it’s appealing a judge’s decision allowing AT&T Inc.’s takeover of Time Warner Inc., renewing the government’s antitrust fight against a merger that created a telecommunications and media giant. The...
Reuters  Jul 12  Comment 
Linde and Praxair will win approval regulatory clearance for their planned $83 billion merger after pledging to sell Praxair's assets to boost a Japanese rival in Europe, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Financial Times  Jul 12  Comment 
Trump appointee says ‘great efficiencies’ can come from large groups buying smaller rivals
Channel News Asia  Jul 11  Comment 
Japanese regulators on Wednesday said Apple Inc may have breached antitrust rules by forcing mobile service providers to sell its iPhones cheaply and charge higher monthly fees, denying consumers a fair choice.
Wall Street Journal  Jul 10  Comment 
The European Union’s antitrust watchdog is expected to find Alphabet’s Google illegally abused the dominance of its Android operating system for mobile phones, issue a multibillion-euro fine and order changes to the company’s Android-related...
Forbes  Jul 10  Comment 
Is there an antitrust policy in the house? The Department of Justice's quick approval of Disney's offer for 21st Century Fox has left antitrust experts baffled, especially in light of an unprecedented and ultimately failed bid to block AT&T's...
Reuters  Jul 9  Comment 
Siemens and Alstom are set to face a full-scale EU antitrust investigation this week after declining to provide concessions to allay regulatory concerns about their plan to combine their rail operations, two people familiar with the matter said.




 
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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