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University of Miami Law School

Business Organizations Law

Compliance

2013

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“Comply Or Explain”—A Flexible Mechanism To Countervail Behavioral Biases In M&A Transactions, Gerrit M. Beckhaus Apr 2013

“Comply Or Explain”—A Flexible Mechanism To Countervail Behavioral Biases In M&A Transactions, Gerrit M. Beckhaus

University of Miami Business Law Review

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are a common phenomenon of great importance in today’s business world. However, the majority of them fail to achieve the aspired objectives. These failures can be attributed to various circumstances, inter alia decision-makers’ vulnerability to behavioral biases due to the complexity, uncertainty, and time pressure characteristic of M&A transactions. Such biases often lead to predictable irrational behavior resulting in momentous misjudgments. Despite numerous psychological studies proving that people systematically tend to make irrational decisions under uncertainty, neither the transactional practice nor its current legal framework address this problem. Instead, the present law shields ...