Minority shareholdings: How to assess their effect on competition?

Law & Economics breakfast organized by Concurrences in partnership with Allen & Overy and MAPP.


Etienne Pfister (Economist, Deputy Reporter General at the French Competition Authority - Member of the BETA-REGLES laboratory, University of Nancy)

In European law, as in several national legislations, in particular that of France, the acquisition of a shareholding can only give rise to control by a competition authority if it leads to a lasting change in the control of that company. While this is almost systematically the case when a majority shareholding is acquired, the case of minority shareholdings is more complex to analyse. For example, special rights, specific shareholders’ agreements or a particularly diffuse shareholding may grant the holder of a minority holding control of the target company within the meaning of merger law. In the absence of such peculiarities, however, the minority shareholding does not lead to a lasting change in control of the target undertaking.

Photos © Léo-Paul Ridet.

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