Antitrust effort may have dampened M&A

Author: Olly Jackson | Published: 2 Jul 2018

Increased antitrust oversight could have played a role in this quarter’s global M&A activity, which recorded its worst performance since 2008. Figures suggest that this could be the end of a cycle, like in 2009, and could be the signal of a period of decline.

The US, in particular, has bolstered its merger enforcement capabilities by overhauling the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (Cfius) regime, and plans to extend its powers to investigate and block foreign transactions. In March, the Trump administration blocked Broadcom’s proposed takeover of Qualcomm on national security grounds and has challenged AT&T’s merger with Time Warner on anti-competitive grounds.

In Europe, the Commission has also blocked the Deutsche Borse and London Stock Exchange merger.

Figures don’t lie

The share prices of purchased companies underperformed the MSCI World Price Index by 6.1% in the second quarter of...