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Dawn Raids and Their Effect on the Stock Market

Seppe Maes, Caroline Buts, Marc Jegers


Keywords: antitrust, cartel, dawn raid, European Commission, event study

Cartel investigations and subsequent Commission decisions can negatively impact a company’s reputation and stock market value. Using an event study methodology, this paper quantifies the effect of a Commission decision on the market value of companies involved and investigates whether the fact that a dawn raid took place has an additional effect on the impact of the subsequent decision. The findings are based on an exhaustive recent sample of 373 observations of listed firms involved in cartel cases between 2001 and 2022. We conclude that a dawn raid has a clear negative effect of -2.04% on a firm’s stock price in the anticipation period prior to a decision. We attribute this to the fact that a dawn raid generates media coverage, bringing more attention to the case and making it widely known to investors. An anticipation effect is absent in cartels where no dawn raid took place, suggesting that a dawn raid entails a more prolonged and more negative effect on stock prices.
Keywords: antitrust; cartel; dawn raid; European Commission; event study


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