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Antitrust and Trade Regulation

Horizontal shareholding

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Mere Common Ownership And The Antitrust Laws, Thomas A. Lambert Nov 2020

Mere Common Ownership And The Antitrust Laws, Thomas A. Lambert

Faculty Publications

"Common ownership," also called "horizontal shareholding," refers to a stock investor's ownership of minority stakes in multiple competing firms. Recent empirical studies have purported to show that institutional investors' common ownership reduces competition among commonly owned competitors. "Mere common ownership" is horizontal shareholding that is not accompanied by any sort of illicit agreement, such as a hub-and-spoke conspiracy, or the holding of a control-conferring stake. This Article considers the legality of mere common ownership under the U.S. antitrust laws. Prominent antitrust scholars and the leading treatise have concluded that mere common ownership that has the incidental effect of lessening market …


Horizontal Shareholding And Antitrust Policy, Fiona M. Scott Morton, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Horizontal Shareholding And Antitrust Policy, Fiona M. Scott Morton, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

All Faculty Scholarship

“Horizontal shareholding” occurs when one or more equity funds own shares of competitors operating in a concentrated product market. For example, the four largest mutual fund companies might be large shareholders of all the major United States air carriers. A growing body of empirical literature concludes that under these conditions market output in the product market is lower and prices higher than they would otherwise be.

Here we consider how the antitrust laws might be applied to this practice, identifying the issues that courts are likely to encounter and attempting to anticipate litigation problems. We assume that neither the mutual …