[00:06.05]The world is going through the biggest wave of mergers
[00:08.96]and acquisitions ever witnessed.
[00:11.59]The process sweeps from hyperactive America to Europe
[00:15.52]and reaches the emerging countries with unsurpassed might.
[00:20.45]Many in these countries are looking at
[00:22.57]this process and worrying:
[00:25.00]"Won't the wave of business concentration turn into
[00:28.42]an uncontrollable anti-competitive force?"
[00:32.85]There's no question that the big are getting bigger
[00:36.08]and more powerful.
[00:37.89]Multinational corporations accounted for less than
[00:41.22]20% of international trade in 1982.
[00:46.56]Today the figure is more than 25% and growing rapidly.
[00:52.61]International affiliates account for
[00:55.24]a fast-growing segment of production in economies
[00:58.35]that open up and welcome foreign investment.
[01:02.90]In Argentina, for instance,
[01:05.10]after the reforms of the early 1990s,
[01:08.33]multinationals went from 43% to almost 70%
[01:13.27]of the industrial production of the 200 largest firms.
[01:18.52]This phenomenon has created serious concerns
[01:22.05]over the role of smaller economic firms,
[01:25.40]of national businessmen and over the ultimate stability
[01:29.42]of the world economy.
[01:31.97]I believe that the most important forces behind
[01:34.69]the massive M&A wave are the same
[01:37.62]that underlie the globalization process:
[01:40.85]falling transportation and communication costs,
[01:44.43]lower trade and investment barriers
[01:47.15]and enlarged markets that require enlarged
[01:50.37]operations capable of meeting customers' demands.
[01:55.03]All these are beneficial, not detrimental, to consumers.
[01:59.44]As productivity grows, the world's wealth increases.
[02:03.87]Examples of benefits or costs of
[02:06.59]the current concentration wave are scanty.
[02:09.72]Yet it is hard to imagine that the merger of
[02:12.64]a few oil firms today
[02:14.76]could re-create the same threats to competition
[02:17.88]that were feared nearly a century ago in the U.S.,
[02:21.52]when the Standard Oil trust was broken up.
[02:25.15]The mergers of telecom companies,
[02:27.57]such as WorldCom,
[02:29.08]hardly seem to bring higher prices for consumers
[02:32.41]or a reduction in the pace of technical progress.
[02:36.54]On the contrary, the price of communications
[02:39.47]is coming down fast.
[02:41.79]In cars, too, concentration is increasing
[02:45.62]--witness Daimler and Chrysler,
[02:48.44]Renault and Nissan--but it does not appear
[02:51.77]that consumers are being hurt.
[02:54.70]Yet the fact remains
[02:56.11]that the merger movement must be watched.
[02:58.83]A few weeks ago, Alan Greenspan warned against
[03:01.95]the megamergers in the banking industry.
[03:04.79]Who is going to supervise,
[03:06.81]regulate and operate as lender of last resort with
[03:11.04]the gigantic banks that are being created?
[03:14.56]Won't multinationals shift production
[03:16.79]from one place to another
[03:19.01]when a nation gets too strict
[03:20.72]about infringements to fair competition?
[03:24.09]And should one country take upon itself
[03:26.70]the role of "defending competition" on issues
[03:29.32]that affect many other nations,
[03:31.85]as in the U.S. vs. Microsoft case?内容来自 听力课堂网：http://www.tingclass.net/show-8686-250986-1.html