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Vanderbilt Hall’s Greenberg Lounge

Event Description

Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips makes remarks opening the eighth FTC hearing
Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips makes
remarks opening the eighth FTC hearing

The Federal Trade Commission held the eighth session of its Hearings Initiative with a one-day hearing at the New York University School of Law in New York City on December 6, 2018.

The day’s panels examined concerns that acquisitions and holdings of non-controlling ownership interests in competing companies, for example by institutional investors, may have anticompetitive effects.

Commissioner Rohit Chopra makes remarks at the eighth FTC hearing
Commissioner Rohit Chopra makes
remarks at the eighth FTC hearing

Some recent econometric studies have concluded that when investors hold stock in competing firms, competition may be reduced among those commonly held competing firms. The Commission invites public comment on this issue, including on the questions listed below. 

  1. What is the state of the econometric and qualitative evidence for and against the proposition that such common ownership reduces competition?
  2. To what extent do the results suggest that this harm to competition extends to concentrated industries more generally? 
  3. Is any likely harm limited to concentrated industries or does it extend to holdings in unconcentrated industries?
  4. What are the potential mechanisms by which such stock holdings would lead to anticompetitive harm, and how likely are they to lead to anticompetitive results?
  5. To what extent do institutional investors have the incentive and opportunity to affect corporate governance, particularly regarding competitive decision-making? How is such influence exercised?
  6. What enforcement and policy responses should be adopted in light of the existing evidence?
  7. What additional research should be undertaken on this issue?
  8. What data would be most useful to answer the question of whether common ownership reduces competition in concentrated industries?

Comments can be submitted online and should be submitted no later than January 15, 2019. If any entity has provided funding for research, analysis, or commentary that is included in a submitted public comment, such funding and its source should be identified on the first page of the comment.

Disability Language

The FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century will accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will be limited to seating availability. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Request for accommodations should be submitted to Elizabeth Kraszewski via email at ekraszewski@ftc.gov or by phone at (202) 326-3087. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed. Please allow at least five days advance notice for accommodation requests; last minute requests will be accepted but may not be possible to accommodate.

  • Corporate Governance, Institutional Investors, and Common Ownership

    8:45-9:00 am

    Welcome

    Trevor W. Morrison
    Dean
    New York University School of Law

    9:00-10:00 am

    Opening Remarks and Discussion

    Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips
    Federal Trade Commission 

    Commissioner Robert J. Jackson Jr.
    Securities and Exchange Commission

     

    10:00-10:10 am

    Break

    10:10-12:10 pm

    Institutional Investors, Diversification, and Corporate Governance

    Participants:

    Allison A. Bennington
    ValueAct Capital

    Kenneth Bertsch
    Council of Institutional Investors

    Heather Slavkin Corzo
    AFL-CIO
    Principles for Responsible Investment

    Holly J. Gregory
    Sidley Austin LLP

    David Hirschmann
    United States Chamber of Commerce

    Scott Hirst
    Boston University School of Law

    Barbara Novick
    BlackRock

    Moderator: Edward Rock
    New York University School of Law

    12:10-1:00 pm

    Break

    1:00-1:15 pm

    Remarks

    Commissioner Rohit Chopra
    Federal Trade Commission

    1:15-1:55 pm

    Presentations – Common Ownership

    Daniel P. O’Brien
    Compass Lexecon

    Martin Schmalz
    University of Michigan
    Ross School of Business

    1:55-2:05 pm

    Break

    2:05-3:50 pm

    Theories of Competitive Harm from Common Ownership 

    Participants:

    Einer R. Elhauge
    Harvard University
    Law School

    Scott Hemphill
    New York University
    School of Law

    Menesh S. Patel
    University of California, Davis
    School of Law

    William H. Rooney
    Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

    Fiona M. Scott Morton
    Yale University
    School of Management

    Moderators:

    Daniel Rubinfeld
    New York University School of Law
    William F. Adkinson, Jr.
    Federal Trade Commission, Office of Policy Planning

    3:50-4:05 pm

    Break

    4:05-5:35 pm

    Econometric Evidence of Competitive Harm from Common Ownership

    Participants:

    Christopher Conlon
    New York University
    Stern School of Business

    Serafin J. Grundl
    Federal Reserve Board

    Daniel P. O’Brien
    Compass Lexecon

    Nancy L. Rose
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Department of Economics

    Martin Schmalz
    University of Michigan 
    Ross School of Business

    Moderator: Nathan Wilson
    Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission

  • Request for Comments

    If parties already filed relevant comments in response to the Initial Topics for Comment, they need not refile those comments here.

FTC Privacy Policy

Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.

The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s comprehensive Privacy Policy.

This event is open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded. By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image — and anything you say or submit — may be posted indefinitely at ftc.gov or on one of the Commission's publicly available social media sites.