A holding company is a corporation that owns sufficient voting stock in another corporation to control its policies and management. Holding companies are regulated by various laws, including the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940.
One of the most well-known legal cases involving a holding company is United States v. America Tel. & Tel. Co., 552 F. Supp. 131 (D.D.C. 1982), which dealt with the question of whether a holding company could be regulated as a "public utility" under the Communications Act of 1934.
Another important case is United States v. Philip Morris Inc., 308 F.3d 1198 (D.C. Cir. 2002), which dealt with the issue of whether a holding company could be held liable for the actions of its subsidiary companies.
Holding companies play an important role in the business world, and are subject to various regulations aimed at protecting investors, promoting competition, and ensuring that these companies do not engage in anti-competitive practices.
[Last updated in February of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]