Which of the following do you think is correct (I've substituted real company names with X/Y/Z):

  1. Competition Commission clears X's and Y's investment in Z.

  2. Competition Commission clears X and Y's investment in Z.

In this scenario, X and Y are acquiring different percentage shareholdings.

I'd have thought the first sentence is better, for clarity, since it's possible to understand the meaning in the second sentence as "clears X" and "Y's investment in Z". On the other hand, "investment" is singular - a shared investment - although I wouldn't change to "investments".

  • I really think this sort of question is better with fictitious names rather than just letters. Letters could be anything.
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 7 '17 at 9:42
  • We have another very similar question although that hasn't been answered. There may be more which have been, but they will be in the [possessives] tag: this isn't a double possessive.
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 7 '17 at 9:45
  • I don't think my query is a possible duplicate; it's not so straightforward. First, if the sentence - actually, article heading - reads: "Competition Competition clears Ali Baba and Tencent's investment in Baidu' (using real company names rather than letters), might it not be possible to understand that the Competition Commission has cleared Ali Baba, as well as Tencent's investment in Baidu? Second, although Ali Baba and Tencent both invested, they invested different amounts - so separate investments but a shared investment - which muddies the waters somewhat. Oct 7 '17 at 13:16
  • What research have you done, please? Even on ELU, let alone Quora or the internet that has been asked and Answered many times. Oct 8 '17 at 17:50