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The Effects Of Shareholder Primacy, Publicness, And “Privateness” On Corporate Cultures, Donald C. Langevoort Aug 2019

The Effects Of Shareholder Primacy, Publicness, And “Privateness” On Corporate Cultures, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There is widespread belief in both scholarship and business practice that internal corporate cultures materially affect economic outcomes for firms. In turn, there is also a growing belief that corporate governance arrangements materially affect corporate cultures. If this is true, it suggests an intriguing three-link causal chain: governance choices influence corporate performance, at least in part via their effects on internal culture. This essay, written for the “Berle XI” symposium, explores that possibility. This subject is important to lawyers and legal scholars because of the symbiotic nature of law and governance, with an increasing risk of enhanced corporate criminal and ...


Social License And Publicness, Hillary A. Sale Jan 2019

Social License And Publicness, Hillary A. Sale

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article deploys the sociological theory of social license, or the acceptance of a business or organization by the relevant communities and stakeholders, in the context of the board of directors and corporate governance. Corporations are generally regulated and treated as “private” actors, and corporate law falls into the zone of “private” law. The construct of the corporation as “private” allows for considerable latitude. Yet, corporate decision makers are the beneficiaries of economic and political power and, the decisions they make have impacts that extend well beyond the boundaries of the entities they represent. Using Wells Fargo and Uber as ...


Revising The Vertical Merger Guidelines (Ftc Hearings), Steven C. Salop Nov 2018

Revising The Vertical Merger Guidelines (Ftc Hearings), Steven C. Salop

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This slide deck was the author’s presentation at the FTC Hearings on Vertical Mergers (November 1, 2018). The deck sets out a summary of the author’s economic analysis and proposed revisions to the U.S. Vertical Merger Guidelines.


Vertical Merger Enforcement Actions: 1994–July 2018, Steven C. Salop, Daniel P. Culley Aug 2018

Vertical Merger Enforcement Actions: 1994–July 2018, Steven C. Salop, Daniel P. Culley

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This is a revised version of our earlier listing of vertical merger enforcement actions by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission since 1994. This revised listing includes 58 vertical matters beginning in 1994 through July 2018. It includes challenges and certain proposed transactions that were abandoned in the face of Agency concerns. This listing can be treated as an Appendix to Steven C. Salop and Daniel P. Culley, Revising the Vertical Merger Guidelines: Policy Issues and an Interim Guide for Practitioners, 4 Journal of Antitrust Enforcement 1 (2016).


Accountability As A Debiasing Strategy: Testing The Effect Of Racial Diversity In Employment Committees, Jamillah Bowman Williams May 2018

Accountability As A Debiasing Strategy: Testing The Effect Of Racial Diversity In Employment Committees, Jamillah Bowman Williams

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Congress passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the primary goal of integrating the workforce and eliminating arbitrary bias against minorities and other groups who had been historically excluded. Yet substantial research reveals that racial bias persists and continues to limit opportunities and outcomes for racial minorities in the workplace. Because these denials of opportunity result from myriad individual hiring and promotion decisions made by vast numbers of managers, finding effective strategies to reduce the impact of bias has proven challenging. Some have proposed that a sense of accountability, or “the implicit or explicit expectation that ...


Adolf Berle During The New Deal: The Brain Truster As An Intellectual Jobber, Robert Thompson Jan 2018

Adolf Berle During The New Deal: The Brain Truster As An Intellectual Jobber, Robert Thompson

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Thirty-seven year old law professor Adolf Berle had a career year in 1932. His book published that year, The Modern Corporation and Private Property (written with Gardiner Means), framed the fundamental twentieth century change in understanding modern corporations. Berle’s exchange with Merrick Dodd on the purpose of the corporation that played out that spring on the pages of the Harvard Law Review launched a still fierce debate over the role of shareholders and other stakeholders. His service as a brain truster for Franklin Roosevelt during the fall election gave voice to the transformative economic policies of the New Deal ...


The Raising Rivals' Cost Foreclosure Paradigm, Conditional Pricing Practices, And The Flawed Incremental Price-Cost Test, Steven C. Salop Jan 2017

The Raising Rivals' Cost Foreclosure Paradigm, Conditional Pricing Practices, And The Flawed Incremental Price-Cost Test, Steven C. Salop

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There are two overarching legal paradigms for analyzing exclusionary conduct in antitrust – predatory pricing and the raising rivals’ costs characterization of foreclosure. Sometimes the choice of paradigm is obvious. Other times, it may depend on the structure of the plaintiff’s allegations. Some types of conduct, notably conditional pricing practices (CPPs), might appear by analogy to fit into both paradigms. CPPs involve pricing that is conditioned on exclusivity or some other type of favoritism in a customer’s purchases or input supplier’s sales. The predatory pricing paradigm would attack the low prices of CPPs. By contrast, the RRC foreclosure ...


Cultures Of Compliance, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2017

Cultures Of Compliance, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There has been a "cultural turn" in discussion and debates about the promise of corporate compliance efforts. These efforts are occurring quickly, without great confidence in their efficacy. Thus the interest in culture. This article explores what a culture of compliance means and why it is so hard to achieve. The "dark side" that enables non-compliance in organizations is powerful and often hidden from view, working via scripts that rationalize or normalize, denigrations of regulation, and celebrations of beliefs and attitudes that bring with them compliance dangers. The article addresses how both culture and compliance should be judged by those ...


Breaking Down Bias: Legal Mandates Vs. Corporate Interests, Jamillah Bowman Williams Jan 2017

Breaking Down Bias: Legal Mandates Vs. Corporate Interests, Jamillah Bowman Williams

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Bias and discrimination continue to limit opportunities and outcomes for racial minorities in American institutions in the twenty-first century. The diversity rationale, touting the broad benefits of inclusion, has become widely accepted by corporate employers, courts, and universities. At the same time, many view a focus on antidiscrimination law and the threat of legal enforcement as outmoded and ineffective. Thus, many organizations talk less in terms of the mandates of laws such as the 1964 Civil Rights Act, or a “legal case,” and more in terms of a “business case” where benefits of inclusion seem to accrue to everyone. It ...


Revising The U.S. Vertical Merger Guidelines: Policy Issues And An Interim Guide For Practitioners, Steven C. Salop, Daniel P. Culley Nov 2015

Revising The U.S. Vertical Merger Guidelines: Policy Issues And An Interim Guide For Practitioners, Steven C. Salop, Daniel P. Culley

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Mergers and acquisitions are a major component of antitrust law and practice. The U.S. antitrust agencies spend a majority of their time on merger enforcement. The focus of most merger review at the agencies involves horizontal mergers, that is, mergers among firms that compete at the same level of production or distribution.

Vertical mergers combine firms at different levels of production or distribution. In the simplest case, a vertical merger joins together a firm that produces an input (and competes in an input market) with a firm that uses that input to produce output (and competes in an output ...


Cguppi: Scoring Incentives To Engage In Parallel Accommodating Conduct, Serge Moresi, David Reitman, Steven C. Salop, Yianis Sarafidis Aug 2015

Cguppi: Scoring Incentives To Engage In Parallel Accommodating Conduct, Serge Moresi, David Reitman, Steven C. Salop, Yianis Sarafidis

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

We propose an index for scoring coordination incentives, which we call the “coordination GUPPI” or cGUPPI. While the cGUPPI can be applied to a wide range of coordinated effects concerns, it is particularly relevant for gauging concerns of parallel accommodating conduct (PAC), a concept that received due prominence in the 2010 U.S. Horizontal Merger Guidelines. PAC is a type of coordinated conduct whereby a firm raises price with the expectation—but without any prior agreement—that one or more other firms will follow and match the price increase. The cGUPPI is the highest uniform price increase that all the ...


Anti-Primacy: Sharing Power In American Corporations, Robert B. Thompson Jan 2015

Anti-Primacy: Sharing Power In American Corporations, Robert B. Thompson

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Prominent theories of corporate governance frequently adopt primacy as an organizing theme. Shareholder primacy is the oldest and most used of this genre. Director primacy has grown dramatically, presenting in at least two distinct versions. A variety of alternatives have followed—primacy for CEOs, employees, creditors. All of these theories can’t be right. This article asserts that none of them are. The alternative developed here is one of shared power among the three actors named in corporations statutes with judges tasked to keep all players in the game. The debunking part of the article demonstrates how the suggested parties ...


Potential Competitive Effects Of Vertical Mergers: A How-To Guide For Practitioners, Steven C. Salop, Daniel P. Culley Dec 2014

Potential Competitive Effects Of Vertical Mergers: A How-To Guide For Practitioners, Steven C. Salop, Daniel P. Culley

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The purpose of this short article is to aid practitioners in analyzing the competitive effects of vertical and complementary product mergers. It is also intended to assist the agencies if and when they undertake revision of the 1984 U.S. Vertical Merger Guidelines. Those Guidelines are out of date and do not reflect current enforcement or economic thinking about the potential competitive effects of vertical mergers. Nor do they provide the tools needed to carry out a modern competitive effects analysis. This article is intended to partially fill the gap by summarizing the various potential competitive harms and benefits that ...


Delaware Public Benefit Corporations 90 Days Out: Who's Opting In?, Alicia E. Plerhoples Sep 2014

Delaware Public Benefit Corporations 90 Days Out: Who's Opting In?, Alicia E. Plerhoples

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Delaware legislature recently shocked the sustainable business and social enterprise sector. On August 1, 2013, amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law became effective, allowing entities to incorporate as a public benefit corporation, a new hybrid corporate form that requires managers to balance shareholders’ financial interests with the besat interests of stakeholders materially affected by the corporation’s conduct, and produce a public benefit. For a state that has long ruled U.S. corporate law and whose judiciary has frequently invoked shareholder primacy, the adoption of the public benefit corporation form has been hailed as a victory by sustainable ...


Representing Social Enterprise, Alicia E. Plerhoples Jan 2013

Representing Social Enterprise, Alicia E. Plerhoples

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article explores the representation of social enterprises—i.e., nonprofit and for-profit organizations whose managersstrategically and purposefully work to create social, environmental, and economic value or achieve a social good through the use of business techniques—in the Social Enterprise & Nonprofit Law Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. Representation of social enterprises helps create a dynamic curriculum through which law students learn to merge corporate legal theory with transactional law practice. Through service to social enterprises, law students (i) learn about corporate governance and corporate legal theory as well as business models and mechanisms that support social and environmental value creation at a time when the corporate sector is increasingly concerned about sustainability challenges; and (ii) engage in solving novel and unstructured problems, advocacy work, knowledge creation, and information facilitation to assist the developing social enterprise sector. Legal issues unique to social enterprises compel students to learn corporate governance and corporate practice methods in a manner not typically present in the non-experiential classroom.


“Fine Distinctions” In The Contemporary Law Of Insider Trading, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2013

“Fine Distinctions” In The Contemporary Law Of Insider Trading, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

William Cary’s opinion for the SEC in In re Cady, Roberts & Co. built the foundation on which the modern law of insider trading rests. This paper—a contribution to Columbia Law School’s recent celebration of Cary’s Cady Roberts opinion, explores some of these—particularly the emergence of a doctrine of “reckless” insider trading. Historically, the crucial question is this: how or why did the insider trading prohibition survive the retrenchment that happened to so many other elements of Rule 10b-5? It argues that the Supreme Court embraced the continuing existence of the “abstain or disclose” rule, and ...


Social Enterprise: Who Needs It?, Brian Galle Jan 2013

Social Enterprise: Who Needs It?, Brian Galle

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

State statutes authorizing firms to pursue mixtures of profitable and socially-beneficial goals have proliferated in the past five years. In this invited response essay, I argue that for one large class of charitable goals the so-called “social enterprise” firm is often privately wasteful. While the hybrid form is a bit more sensible for firms that combine profit with simple, easily monitored social benefits, existing laws fail to protect stakeholders against opportunistic conversion of the firm to pure profit-seeking. Given these failings, I suggest that social enterprise’s legislative popularity can best be traced to a race to the bottom among ...


“Publicness” In Contemporary Securities Regulation After The Jobs Act, Donald C. Langevoort, Robert B. Thompson Jan 2013

“Publicness” In Contemporary Securities Regulation After The Jobs Act, Donald C. Langevoort, Robert B. Thompson

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The JOBS Act of 2012 reflects the largest deregulatory change to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 over its more than 75 year history. It contracts the coverage of those companies subject to the obligations of ‘publicness” and it introduces an “on ramp” that will permit most newly-public companies to meet a lesser set of disclosure, internal control and governance obligations for up to five years. We set these changes against a larger discussion of when a private enterprise should be forced to take on public status in securities regulation, a topic that has been entirely under theorized. We conclude ...


What Were They Thinking? Insider Trading And The Scienter Requirement, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2012

What Were They Thinking? Insider Trading And The Scienter Requirement, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

On its face, the connection between insider trading regulation and the state of mind of the trader or tipper seems intuitive. Insider trading is a form of market abuse: taking advantage of a secret to which one is not entitled, generally in breach of some kind of fiduciary-like duty. This chapter examines both the legal doctrine and the psychology associated with this pursuit. There is much conceptual confusion in how we define unlawful insider trading—the quixotic effort to build a coherent theory of insider trading by reference to the law of fraud, rather than a more expansive market abuse ...


Can An Old Dog Learn New Tricks? Applying Traditional Corporate Law Principles To New Social Enterprise Legislation, Alicia E. Plerhoples Jan 2012

Can An Old Dog Learn New Tricks? Applying Traditional Corporate Law Principles To New Social Enterprise Legislation, Alicia E. Plerhoples

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Seven U.S. states have recently adopted the benefit corporation or the flexible purpose corporation—two novel corporate forms intended to house social enterprises, i.e., those ventures that pursue social and environmental missions along with profits. And yet, these corporate forms are not viable or sustainable if they do not attract social entrepreneurs or social investors due to the lack of understanding and inquiry into how traditional corporate law principles will be applied to them. This article begins this necessary examination. As a first approach, this article assesses shareholder primacy and the shareholder wealth maximization norm in the context ...


Behavioral Approaches To Corporate Law, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2012

Behavioral Approaches To Corporate Law, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This chapter reviews the challenges associated with developing a plausible theory of why psychological "heuristics and biases" might persist in high-stakes business settings. Specific attention is given to issues of loyalty on corporate boards, behavioral finance, and corporate cultures.


Alien Tort Claims And The Status Of Customary International Law, Carlos Manuel Vázquez Jan 2012

Alien Tort Claims And The Status Of Customary International Law, Carlos Manuel Vázquez

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Much of the recent debate about the status of customary international law in the U.S. legal system has revolved around the alien tort provision of the Judiciary Act of 1789, currently section 1350 of Title 28. In Filártiga v. Peńa-Irala, the decision that launched modern human rights litigation in the United States, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit relied on the view that customary international law has the status of federal common law in upholding section 1350’s grant of federal jurisdiction over a suit between aliens. The court’s position that customary international law was federal ...


The Post-Citizens United Fantasy-Land, Roy A. Schotland Jan 2011

The Post-Citizens United Fantasy-Land, Roy A. Schotland

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

First, a bouquet for the illuminating facts presented by Professors Wert, Gaddie, and Bullock. They make dramatically clear how minuscule independent spending by corporate PACs has been (that is, those PACs’ direct spending as distinct from support by those PACs or their corporate sponsors for spending by intermediaries like the Chamber of Commerce). Their showing is borne out by experience this year: corporate support for campaigns is almost all hidden, flowing through intermediaries, which is why getting effective disclosure is more important than ever, as the Court clearly recognizes (We probably owe much to Justice Kennedy for the fact that ...


Chasing The Greased Pig Down Wall Street: A Gatekeeper’S Guide To The Psychology, Culture And Ethics Of Financial Risk-Taking, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2011

Chasing The Greased Pig Down Wall Street: A Gatekeeper’S Guide To The Psychology, Culture And Ethics Of Financial Risk-Taking, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The current financial crisis has once again focused attention on lawyers, corporate directors and auditors as gatekeepers, who are expected to introduce some degree of cognitive independence to the task of risk assessment and risk management in public companies, including financial services firms. This essay examines the psychological and cultural forces that may distort risk perception and risk motivation in hyper-competitive firms, beyond the standard economic incentives associated with agency costs and moral hazards, warning gatekeepers against too easily assuming that all is well when insiders display high levels of intensity, focus and devotion to hard-to-achieve goals. In fact, these ...


The Behavioral Economics Of Mergers And Acquisitions, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2011

The Behavioral Economics Of Mergers And Acquisitions, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The world of mergers and acquisitions seems like a setting in which rationality necessarily dominates. There are high stakes, focused and sustained attention, and expert advisers who are repeat players. In the economics and management literature, however, there has been a great deal of research on what might be called “behavioral M&A”—using insights from psychology to explain observed patterns of behavior in the acquisitions marketplace. To date, the law has largely been uninterested in the psychological dynamics of corporate acquisitions. This essay looks at recent research on such issues as the role of overconfidence, hubris, anchoring, etc. in ...


Reading Stoneridge Carefully: A Duty-Based Approach To Reliance And Third Party Liability Under Rule 10b-5, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2010

Reading Stoneridge Carefully: A Duty-Based Approach To Reliance And Third Party Liability Under Rule 10b-5, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Supreme Court's decision in the Stoneridge case has largely been interpreted as a imposing a strict, pro-defendant reliance requirement. This article offers an alternative reading that takes the Court's analysis more seriously than its overheated dicta, one that makes "remoteness" a serious and meaningful inquiry that can produce balanced and fair responses to the concern that seemed to motivate the search for restraint: fear of disproportionate liability. It explores the nature of the dispropotion, and suggests ways--using the Court's own explanatory tools--for deciding when third party involvement is close enough to the fraud so that fear ...


Supply Chains And Porous Boundaries: The Disaggregation Of Legal Services, Milton C. Regan, Palmer T. Heenan Jan 2010

Supply Chains And Porous Boundaries: The Disaggregation Of Legal Services, Milton C. Regan, Palmer T. Heenan

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The economic downturn has had significant effects on law firms, and is causing many of them to rethink some basic assumptions about how they operate. In important respects, however, the downturn has simply intensified the effects of some deeper trends that preceded it, which are likely to continue after any recovery that may occur.

This paper explores one of these trends, which is corporate client insistence that law firms “disaggregate” their services into discrete tasks that can be delegated to the least costly providers who can perform them. With advances in communications technology, there is increasing likelihood that some of ...


Corporate Environmental Social Responsibility: Corporate "Greenwashing" Or A Corporate Culture Game Changer?, Hope M. Babcock Jan 2010

Corporate Environmental Social Responsibility: Corporate "Greenwashing" Or A Corporate Culture Game Changer?, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article focuses on the extent to which unenforceable voluntary initiatives undertaken by corporations can change corporate behavior to make businesses more environmentally responsible, i.e. not only comply with the law, but to do more than the law actually requires of them. These initiatives, loosely gathered under the umbrella of a movement called corporate social responsibility (CSR), are often proposed by the government as a way to fill regulatory and enforcement gaps or by industry, often as an alternative to regulatory requirements. In each case, their goal is to improve the compliance record of businesses and, in some cases ...


Fighting Freestyle: The First Amendment, Fairness, And Corporate Reputation, Rebecca Tushnet Dec 2009

Fighting Freestyle: The First Amendment, Fairness, And Corporate Reputation, Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There are three distinct groups who might want to engage in speech about commercial entities or to constrain those commercial entities from making particular claims of their own. Competitors may sue each other for false advertising, consumers may sue businesses, and government regulators may impose requirements on what businesses must and may not say. In this context, this Article will evaluate a facially persuasive but ultimately misguided claim about corporate speech: that because consumers regularly get to say nasty things about corporations under the lax standards governing defamation of public figures, corporations must be free to make factual claims subject ...


The Sec And The Madoff Scandal: Three Narratives In Search Of A Story, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2009

The Sec And The Madoff Scandal: Three Narratives In Search Of A Story, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay, part of a symposium on narrative in corporate law, considers various portrayals of the complicity of the SEC in the Bernard Madoff scandal--including the Commission's own Inspector General's report issued in September 2009. It considers possible explanations (revolving door problems, incompetence and sloth, etc.) but suggests that the story is deeper and more frustrating, arising out of the relative poverty in which the SEC operates, which in turn leads to habits of thought and action that leave too much unnoticed and undone. The interesting question, then: why the poverty? The essay concludes with a political explanation ...