Talal Al Awadhi

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This research study investigated the challenges confronting Gulf Corporate Council (GCC) states in merger control. For the purpose of this research, the term merger control is used to refer to the law and regulations on how anticompetitive mergers should be identified, controlled and/or prevented. This research study was carried out using a secondary data analysis. The secondary data was collected from the literature. Research findings indicate that mergers in general are underdeveloped in GCC states. As a result, the law on merger control has lagged severely behind developed states. Research findings also indicate that there are four main challenges to merger control in GCC states. The four challenges are underdevelopment of mergers and merger control laws; Shariah compliance, restrictions on foreign ownership; and the prominence of family-owned firms in the GCC. The researcher also observed that the lack of law and harmonization of the law on mergers in GCC states is also a challenge for merger control. The researcher concluded that the primary problem for merger control in GCC states is the lack of mergers in the region. An improvement in the key areas (underdevelopment of mergers/merger control, Shariah compliance, restrictions on foreign ownership, and prominence of family-owned firms, and lack of harmony of merger laws) will help in the development of mergers and merger control in GCC states.

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