The Power Behind the Pen: Institutional Investors’ Influence on Media during Corporate Litigation
73 Pages Posted: 21 May 2020 Last revised: 11 Dec 2023
Date Written: December 11, 2023
Institutional investors increasingly hold substantial equity stakes in both media companies and industrial firms. When industrial firms become defendants in corporate litigation, media companies that are simultaneously held by these institutional investors provide more lenient coverage of the defendants. This effect becomes more pronounced when institutions have greater incentives and ability to exert influence over the media companies. Influenced media outlets also reduce their coverage of the defendants, especially that related to legal matters. After the lenient coverage, institutional investors gradually reduce their stakes in defendant firms and increasingly vote in favor of the management of these media companies. Our findings suggest that media outlets tend to slant their coverage of corporate litigation to cater to the preferences of large shareholders.
Keywords: Institutional investors, media incentives, media tone, corporate litigation
JEL Classification: G14, G23, G32, L82, M41
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