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Australia’s competition watchdog should receive new powers to stop any potential merger that could see “mega-funds” like U.S. giants BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street widen control over an industry, according to a parliamentary committee. On April 11, the Standing Committee on Economics in Australia tabled its report examining the influence of the mega-funds, which also comes amid ongoing concerns that funds like BlackRock are using the leverage they have over big companies to compel them to adopt social justice initiatives such as gender equality and climate change. At the root of the inquiry is the issue of “common ownership,” which refers to the situation where one entity simultaneously owns the shares in competing companies within the same industry. “If financial markets are dominated by a small number of large investors, or if the same investor owns a significant stake in competing businesses, the evidence is piling up that competition suffers,” …