By Barry Reingold (December 13, 2018, 3:42 PM EST) -- On Dec. 6, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission hearings on "Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century" addressed concerns that stock holdings by institutional investors of noncontrolling interests in competing portfolio companies may have anti-competitive effects. Such investments — called "concentrated common ownership," or CCO — raise three core issues.
First, is there a correlation between CCO and reduced competition in product markets dominated by a small number of publicly-held portfolio firms?
Second, if so, what are the mechanisms that impair competition? Is it direction from the institutional investor to portfolio company managers ("ringmaster")? Or are the economic incentives of...
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