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Optimal takeover regulation aims to promote efficient changes of corporate control while curbing inefficient takeovers. Viewed from a comparative perspective, the Anglo-American prototypes spearhead not only the discourse but also the dissemination of takeover regulation globally. At the one end of the spectrum, the law in the United States (U.S.) follows the “market rule,” whereby transfers of corporate control benefit from a regulatory freehand. At the other end of the spectrum lies the “mandatory bid rule” (MBR), epitomized by takeover regulation in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Under the U.K.’s version of the MBR, an acquirer who acquires de facto control over a target must make a general offer to the remaining shareholders to acquire all of their shares at the same price it paid to acquire the controlling block.

In this article, we aim to analyze how and why six significant Asian jurisdictions adopted the MBR and its variants. This is puzzling given that the jurisdictions display considerable divergence in terms of structural, legal, and institutional foundations, not only with their Anglo-American counterparts but also even among themselves. In this article, we challenge the prevailing notion that the binary Anglo-American approach constitutes the framework for the dissemination of takeover regulation worldwide.

We claim that because of the political economy of takeover regulation in the Asian jurisdictions, the choice to adopt various intermediate positions is by design and not by default. Considering the market rule provides suboptimal protection to minority shareholders and the MBR curbs the market for corporate control, the intermediate positions aim to balance these somewhat conflicting objectives. Our study contributes to the wider debate surrounding the appropriate takeover regulation and, more specifically, the claims made by the proponents of the market rule on the one hand and the MBR on the other

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