LBS faculty recognised for antitrust research

Dr Colleen Cunningham wins 2022 Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund Writing Award for examination of “killer acquisitions” in the pharmaceutical industry

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A paper co-authored by London Business School Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Colleen Cunningham has won the 2021 Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund Writing Award.

Killer Acquisitions’, published in the Journal of Political Economy and co-authored with Florian Ederer and Song Ma of Yale School of Management, investigates how companies acquire competitors for the sole purpose of discontinuing innovative projects by the latter.

It does so by examining data from the pharmaceutical industry and find that 5.3%-7.4% of acquisitions in their sample are so-called “killer acquisitions”. Such actions often occur when the threshold for antitrust scrutiny has not been met.

Dr Cunningham said: “We are very honoured to receive this award, which reflects the relevance of our research on the phenomenon of 'killer acquisitions' to both policy and practice”.

The prize is hosted by the American Antitrust Institute.