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With Leonardo Marroni. Forthcoming in European Journal of Law and Economics, 2014, 10.1007/s10657-014-9467-7 [link]

[Preprint available here]

Abstract

Network analysis techniques are used for investigating the probable effects of a change in the regulation aiming to prevent the anticompetitive effects of interlocking directorates (ID), that is the crossed presence of directors in the boards of competing firms. The case study considers a recent Italian law (Section 36 of Law Decree n. 201/2011) which prohibits ID for credit, insurance and financial companies. The ID networks of the top-100 Italian listed companies and of the financial companies in this same list are considered and compared with the analogous networks in the US. The US networks represent a benchmark given that in the US companies act under Section 8 of the Clayton Act that has banned ID since 1914. The effects on the ID networks of the new Italian law are simulated under two different interpretations of the law. If the law will be applied according to a narrow interpretation, the Italian ID network will rest substantially unaltered. However, if the law will be applied according to a broad interpretation, the ID network for financial firms will be completely modified with a network configuration very similar to the American benchmark.