A handful of academic papers on the “common ownership hypothesis” claim that institutional investors decrease competition and raise prices for consumers merely by holding stock in competing firms in concentrated industries. This research, however, is hotly contested, and the papers fail to make their case. There is no valid empirical basis to conclude that investment advisers are causing competitive harm through the management of broadly diversified portfolios on behalf of clients.
Despite the hypothesis’s weak foundations, some academics have proposed draconian restrictions on institutional investors that would harm millions of retail investors, the equity markets, and the economy. Institutional investing through pension funds and mutual funds provides enormous benefits to the public and economy by giving individuals access to markets through professionally managed, diversified portfolios with extremely low costs. Millions of Americans use these funds to save for their most important financial goals. Policymakers should not even consider proposals that could reduce these benefits based on the speculative and disputed claims of the proponents of the common ownership hypothesis.
This resource center contains the latest ICI news, statements, publications, and policy work around the issue of common ownership.
Common Sense Doesn’t Support Common Ownership Hypothesis
Common Ownership: Ignoring the Age-Old Conflict Between Owners and Managers
Common Ownership: Faulty Assumptions on Investors’ ‘Economic Interests’
Letters and Opinions
ICI Comment Letter Following FTC Meeting on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century ...
ICI Submits Comment Letter to FTC on Common Ownership Following the FTC's Hearings on Competition an...
ICI Comment Letter on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century (pdf)
ICI Seeks to Inform FTC Discussion on Common Ownership
Proposal to Limit Institutional Investors Would Harm Millions
ICI Comment Letter to DOJ and FTC on Common Ownership (pdf)
- Selected Papers on the Common Ownership Hypothesis (pdf)
Apr 22, 2020
- Common Ownership: An EU Perspective, Alec J. Burnside and Adam Kidane
Mar 6, 2020
- Common Ownership Data is Incorrect, BlackRock
Feb 1, 2019
- What People Are Saying on Common Ownership and Institutional Investment Theories (pdf)
Dec 6, 2018