Common ownership – A practitioner’s view
Common ownership has become a hot topic in antitrust. Until recently, though, it remained largely a theoretical debate. The merger control decisions issued by the European Commission in Dow/DuPont and Bayer/Monsanto, however, have suddenly made it a real concern for companies – even though the practical implications are still unclear at this stage. For practitioners working with institutional investors, this new trend appears all the more worrisome that the theory of harm behind the Commission decisions seems to ignore the real ability and incentive of asset managers to influence competition between portfolio companies. In that context, any further enforcement action could potentially become highly problematic.