WHY THE QUESTION OF MINORITY SHAREHOLDINGS IS IMPORTANT

Recently a small group of swiss researchers conducted a study and came to the conclusion that 147 large multinationals "rule the world" and these undertakings, the core of multinationals, "can be seen as an economic "super-entity" that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers." They find that "transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions." They are basically connected to each other for example by cross-ownership structures, etc. This does not reach the level of control in term of competition policy, but it is not difficult to see how such a structure of firms might reduce incentives to compete on the multi-product markets where they are active.

The study itself refers to the fact that "mutual ownership relations among firms within the same sector can, in some cases, jeopardize market competition".

Well done. The floor is now for policy makers to find out how to deal with minority shareholdings in a consitent manner.