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Index Fund Giants Draw Antitrust Scrutiny in U.S. Mergers (1)

Jan. 23, 2020, 5:19 PM

U.S. antitrust officials have begun asking companies about communications with their biggest shareholders as part of merger investigations, according to people familiar with the matter, adding to the growing scrutiny of the power of giant index funds.

The Federal Trade Commission wants buyers and sellers to identify their largest shareholders, the extent of their influence over the companies and any communications they’ve had, said the people, who declined to be named because the matter is confidential.

The requests represent a new development in U.S. antitrust enforcement and could pose yet another hurdle to companies seeking regulatory approval for mergers. While...

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