Tuesday, June 7, 2022

A New Era of Midnight Mergers: Antitrust Risk and Investor Disclosures

A New Era of Midnight Mergers: Antitrust Risk and Investor Disclosures

 

 

John Manuel Barrios

Washington University in St. Louis - Olin Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research

Thomas Wollmann

University of Chicago

 

Abstract

Antitrust authorities search public documents to discover anticompetitive mergers. Thus, investor disclosures may alert them to deals that would otherwise escape scrutiny, creating disincentives for managers to divulge transactions. We study this behavior in publicly traded US companies. First, we estimate a regression discontinuity that exploits mandatory disclosure thresholds stipulated by securities law. We find that releasing information to investors poses antitrust risk. Second, we present a method for measuring undisclosed merger activity that relies on financial accounting reporting requirements. We find that undisclosed mergers total $2.3 trillion between 2002 and 2016.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2022/06/a-new-era-of-midnight-mergers-antitrust-risk-and-investor-disclosures.html

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