The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

257. Lucian Bebchuk and Allen Ferrell, Federalism and Takeover Law: The Race to Protect Managers From Takeovers, 5/99; subsequently published as "Federalism and Corporate Law: The Race to Protect Managers from Takeovers" in Columbia Law Review, Vol. 99, No. 5, June 1999, 1168-1199.

Abstract: This paper analyzes certain important shortcomings of state competition in corporate law. In particular, we show, with respect to takeovers, states have incentives to produce rules that excessively protect incumbent managers. The development of state takeover law, we argue, is consistent with our theory. States have adopted antitakeover statutes that have little policy basis, and, more importantly, they have provided managers with a wider and more open-ended latitude to engage in defensive tactics than endorsed even by the commentators most favorable to such tactics. Furthermore, states have elected, even though they could have done otherwise, to impose antitakeover protections on shareholders, who did not appear to favor them, in a way that left shareholders with little choice or say. Finally, we conclude by pointing out that proponents of state competition cannot reconcile their views with the evolution of state takeover law---and should therefore reconsider their unqualified support of state competition.

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