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Big players and small players

By Merete Christiansen and Anne Loft

Abstract

The international mergers between large auditing firms which produced 'The Big Six' involved Danish auditing firms in a process of intense merger activity. In this article some aspects of the consequences are explored. An empirical study of concentration in the market for the audit of Danish quoted companies was made. There was a large increase in concentration between 1989 and 1991. Two of the large audit firms now audit over half of the total value of the net turnover of quoted companies. Associated with it, there appears to have been increasing competition in both the audit and consultancy areas, the latter having increased in importance as a generator of profit for auditing firms. Auditors claim to act in the public interest but the developments discussed here raise doubts about this, a situation which requires serious attention from auditors and regulators.

DOI identifier: 10.1080/09638189200000024
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