Getting a Good Buy With a Little Help from a Friend: Turning to the United States to Go Forward with Australian Takeovers Regulation

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McConvill, James (2007) Getting a Good Buy With a Little Help from a Friend: Turning to the United States to Go Forward with Australian Takeovers Regulation. Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce, 34 (1). pp. 153-220. ISSN 0093-0709


Australia has always turned to the United States for guidance and inspiration. We appreciate U.S. fashion, take a strong interest in U.S. politics, and are heavy consumers of U.S. film, television shows and music. But in relation to U.S. corporate regulation and corporate law scholarship, Australia is decidedly slow on the uptake. It would be wrong to suggest that Australia does not follow what is going on in the U.S. corporate law arena, particularly since the collapse of Enron and WorldCom, but it hasn't excited us. Like much that comes out of the U.S., the great nation of liberty's corporate law scholarship and approach to corporate regulation can generally be described as brilliant. In this article, I tap into this brilliance in an attempt to unlock the hidden genius of Australian takeovers law. It is argued that the regulation of Australia's market of corporate control can be made more efficient not through the conventional process of law reform, but rather through a fresh approach to corporate regulation (and more specifically takeovers regulation) involving the application of principles of marketing and product design. A trip to the other side of the world reveals a lot about Australian takeovers law that most observers do not appreciate. It is well worth the plane ticket. Re-examining Australian takeovers regulation through a U.S. lens is not of mere academic interest. Nor is it merely a topic of interest to Australians. In fact, Australia has the strongest takeovers market in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan), and has one of the most active takeovers market in the world. The Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect at the beginning of 2005, also makes it a lot easier for U.S. corporations to invest in Australia, making Australia a more attractive opportunity for U.S. investors. It is therefore important that Australian takeovers law, an important product in the market for corporate control in Australia, is designed so as to be as efficient as possible. This article is about effective product management of Australian takeovers regulation, drawing upon ideas and thinking in the U.S., to make it a more attractive product going forward. In this article, I explain how a mix of U.S. ingenuity and Australian vision can achieve greater freedom for participants in Australia's market for corporate control.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > FOR Classification > 1801 Law
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Law
Keywords ResPubID22481. consolidation, merger of corporations, company law, marketing, business, product design, free trade, product management, takeovers regulations, United States, Australia, Australian, American
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