Israel moves to weaken concentrations of corporate power
Parliament gave initial approval to increase competition in attempt to lower cost of living • Israel has one of the highest concentrations of corporate power in the developed world with 10 business groups controlling 41 percent of public companies.
A plan to break up some of Israel’s largest conglomerates cleared a key hurdle when parliament gave its initial approval on Monday to a government move intended to increase competition and appease public outrage over the high cost of living.
Lawmakers voted 28-0 in favor of the bill, which still needs to pass two more readings in parliament, the Knesset, to become law.
Moments before the vote, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told parliament the law would change the face of Israel’s economy and lead to lower prices for consumers.
Israel has one of the highest concentrations of corporate power in the developed world with the government estimating that the country’s 10 largest business groups control 41 percent of the market value of public companies.
“We are working to reduce the monopolies in Israel’s economy and boost competition. That is the right thing to do from an economic and social point of view,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told legislators of his Likud party before the vote.