by: Alexandra Tregre
The Merger Action Group (MAG) has recently challenged the Lloyds TSB takeover of HBOS claiming that such action would be bad for Scotland’s already poor economy.
The Merger Action Group is made up of businessmen, shareholders and bank customers alike and pose a threat to the progress that the Scottish government feels can be accomplished through the rescue of HBOS.
Legal hearings for the case have been moved to begin on the 8th of December in order to accommodate the December 12 vote. MAG assumes that Business Secretary Lord Mandelson based his decision off of recent information that was not available at the time of release. This self-appointed group predicts that the merge will provide an unlawful environment and contradict the interests of fostering employment, competition and the taxpayer’s best interest.
Controversially, a letter was recently written to MAG urging them to come to renounce their protest against the merge. Independent MSP Ms MacDonald added that the letter had threatened MAG’s six key members for legal costs unless they halted their court action. In response, a spokeswoman for the Department of Business asserts, “The letter was intended to give the appellants a chance to save costs before pursuing their legal challenge further.”
“It was neither an ultimatum nor a threat to individual members.”
The body to make the final decision on the rescue of HBOS is the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) which acts as a deciding party. The function of CAT is to hear and resolve appeals involving competition or economic regulatory issues. Additionally, CAT is known for its expertise in law, economics, business and accountancy.
Although the case is to be held in London, it will be conducted by the Scottish law. The outcome is hoped to be decided by Tuesday’s end.