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A New Approach to Takeover Law and Regulatory Competition

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  • Lucian Arye Bebchuk
  • Allen Ferrell

Abstract

The development of U.S. state takeover law in the past three decades has produced considerable and quite possibly excessive protection for incumbent managers from hostile takeovers. Although the shortcomings of state takeover law have been widely recognized, there has been little support for federal intervention because of the concern that such intervention might produce even worse takeover arrangements. This paper puts forward a novel form of federal intervention in the regulation of takeovers that would address these shortcomings without raising such a concern. Rather than mandating particular substantive takeover arrangements, this form of federal intervention would focus on increasing shareholder choice. Choice-enhancing' federal intervention would consist of two elements: (i) an optional body of substantive federal takeover law which shareholders would be able to opt into (or out of) and (ii) a mandatory process rule that would provide shareholders the right to initiate and adopt, regardless of managers' wishes, proposals for opting into (or out of) the federal takeover law. We argue that such a federal role in takeover law cannot harm and would likely improve the regulation of takeovers. Moreover, by showing how federal law can be used to improve regulatory competition in the provision of takeover law rather than preempt it, our analysis lays the groundwork for a more general reconsideration of regulatory competition in the corporate law area.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8148.

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Date of creation: Mar 2001
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Publication status: published as "A New Approach to Takeover Law and Regulatory Competition" Virginia Law Review, Vol. 87, No. 1, pp. 111-164 (2001).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8148

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Cited by:
  1. Edward Stringham & Todd Zywicki, 2011. "Rivalry and superior dispatch: an analysis of competing courts in medieval and early modern England," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 497-524, June.
  2. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Hart, Oliver, 2001. "Takeover Bids versus Proxy Fights in Contests for Corporate Control," CEPR Discussion Papers 3073, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Lucian Bebchuk & Oliver Hart, 2001. "Takeover bids vs. Proxy Fights in Contests for Corporate Control," NBER Working Papers 8633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Cohen, Alma, 2003. "Firms' Decisions Where to Incorporate," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 383-425, October.
  5. Oren Bar-Gill & Michal Barzuza & Lucian Bebchuk, 2002. "The Market for Corporate Law," NBER Working Papers 9156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Fluck, Zsuzsanna & Mayer, Colin, 2005. "Race to the Top or Bottom? Corporate Governance, Freedom of Reincorporation and Competition in Law," CEPR Discussion Papers 5133, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Nenova, Tatiana, 2006. "Takeover laws and financial development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4029, The World Bank.
  8. Becht, Marco & Bolton, Patrick & Roell, Ailsa, 2003. "Corporate governance and control," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 1-109 Elsevier.
  9. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Cohen, Alma, 2002. "Firms' Decisions on Where to Incorporate," CEPR Discussion Papers 3514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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