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August 01, 2007


Will Williams

Aside from the media kow-towing to someone who may be their boss after the next takeover, it's sinister for one organisation to gain more and more control over the MSM

Bob B

The received wisdom about financial capital markets and M&A characterising the American and British model - compared with the alternative models of bank-based capital markets (as in Germany) or the Japanese structure of cross-holdings of shares and close relations between customers and suppliers in supply chains - is that financial capital markets are more effective at disciplining failing management - other things equal.

The currently prevailing evidence seems to favour the American and British model because of better overall economic performance but that is not the only relevant debate going.

There is another continuing debate about the respective merits of the common law systems of England and America compared with Code Napoleon systems of much of mainland Europe.

Any reflections, Chris?

Surreptitious Evil

Victory? Yes, there was a battle and he won.

Pyrrhic? Quite possibly - you make an interesting generic as well as specific point - but that is one of the problems. People generally, when they enter into a competition or struggle do their (possibly quite limited) rational bit before they join - then it is just a matter of alpha-male overcommitment.



He's an old man in a hurry, Mr Murdoch.


This is a fine article Chris. In many ways a good parallel for the way the Israel/Palestine peace process is always descibed. it is always, dying or losing life; as if ti is some sperate being and not just a contiuing round of negotiations. This imagery is in itself very misleading and that is why it is a similar analogy to this one in the business world.


So much for rationality in business.

Like many corporate leaders, vanity wins out every time. Murdoch just loves the headlines, even though the merger will probably never deliver.

When I asked one senior executive why his company had merged with another, he answered "Why not? After the merger, they got a Big 4 firm in to construct a case to 'prove' that there were all these 'value drivers' for the merger.

I think that's called post-hoc rationalisation.

I often hear it said that most mergers fail. How they can fail when success was never defined in the first place is an interesting question.

Mark Wadsworth

"many takeovers owed more to hubris and overconfidence than to business logic"

Make that "most takeovers" and you've just about summed it all up nicely.

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