Corporate Ownership and Antitrust Violations

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We study the relationship between corporate ownership and anticompetitive actions. Using data from Italy, we find that family firms are less likely than other firms to be involved in antitrust indictments. This result holds after controlling for several factors that are different across family and nonfamily firms and may correlate with anticompetitive behavior. Family control reduces the likelihood of antitrust indictments, especially among larger companies, which are generally more likely to be prosecuted. However, conditional on being prosecuted, family firms face the same likelihood of monetary sanctions as nonfamily firms. Collectively, our results provide new insights into the role of corporate ownership in firms’ anticompetitive behavior.

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