Friday 27 November 1998
The anti-trust authorities must also be looking askance at the sheer volume of bids and deals that are surfacing. As fast as the regulators crack down on cartel activity, big business finds a way to achieve the same end. If you cannot conspire with your competitors to keep prices up, then the next best thing is to take them over.
Fortunately, an Exxon-Mobil merger might have a hard time getting past even the sleepiest anti-trust buster. In order to be made palatable, it would require massive divestments in the US and Europe, where Exxon would be joined at the hip with BP-Amoco by virtue of its partnership with Mobil.
Added to this Exxon-Mobil also offers less scope for cost savings and value enhancements than BP-Amoco and would leave the partners with a massive goodwill write-off. The aim of leaking the talks was probably to make Exxon overpay. But it could just as easily kill the deal, in which case Royal Dutch Shell does not have to press the panic button just yet.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
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Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
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Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
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