Jul.23, 2012 | 9:43 AM–Sometimes a given manufacturer sometimes can’t get credit because the potential lender owns another company competing with the would-be borrower. That sorry state of affairs can’t even be criticized because the potential lender also has holdings in the press.
Thus Moshe Gafni, chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, describes the potential of interest lurking in Israeli conglomerates that own both finance and non-finance companies.
It is true that the Knesset Finance Committee approved a law that would diminish economic concentration in Israel, Gafni says. How effective it will prove is another matter, as the Knesset member admits himself. In some cases, he feels the economic concentration committee didn’t dare enough, he says.
In fact the Knesset Finance Committee had begun urging the government to tackle Israel’s problem of economic concentration for a long time, Gafni claims. The outcome, this “economic concentration law,” is a compromise, in his view – between the Israel Securities Authority, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Finance Ministry, and others.
Now the bill has to pass the Knesset plenum, after which it will return to the Finance Committee for serious discussion, Gafni explains.
TheMarker: Might somebody try to block the bill from returning to the Knesset Committee, hoping to delay the evil hour – if a new government comes into power, maybe it would feel differently about the endeavor.
“I can’t say at this point,” Gafni answers. “I assess that since parts of the bill fall within the purview of other Knesset committees, attempts will be made to split off small parts of the bill. But I won’t let that happen, because this bill is a single entity.”
The Companies Law and antitrust laws are part and parcel of economic concentration in Israel, as an issue, Gafni elaborates, and the Knesset Finance Committee should therefore be responsible for discussing the issue from the broadest perspective. “The economic concentration law is very big, very long and complicated, too,” he says.
Based on precedent, Gafni doesn’t believe the members of the Knesset Finance Committee will bend before the terrific pressures imposed on them, he says. They’d met pressures of the sort when discussing how to tax corporate income on exploiting the giant fields of natural gas found in Israeli territorial waters, and did not yield, he says…Read More>>