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Brexit could mean tougher merger policy in the UK

British regulators should be given wider powers to block mergers, particularly if a company has strategic significance, after the country’s exit from the European Union, Sharon White, head of regulator Ofcom has said. Reuters reports that White said that Britain should use the opportunity presented by Brexit to bolster the capacities and powers of its regulators, in a speech to the Institute for Government. “We have the opportunity to introduce a wider set of considerations in merger decisions, including policy or public-interest concerns where a company is deemed to have particular strategic significance for the UK,” she said. But she said any adoption of greater powers would not amount to “regulatory creep” or “new powers for the sake of it”. White also called for the introduction of new protections for consumers to prevent markets being uncompetitive, an argument she said the European Commission had failed to heed. “Investment bankers advising companies on mergers and acquisitions warn privately of increasing scrutiny over M&A driven by what they see as political motivated protectionism following the election of Donald Trump and Britain's vote to quit the EU,” the Reuters item adds. More here

  • Monday, 12 December 2016

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