Raider Repellent

"One Share, One Vote" May Go

Is it the cornerstone of corporate democracy or an anachronistic regulation? That is the hotly debated question that swirls around the New York Stock Exchange's 60-year-old "one share, one vote" rule, which prohibits companies from issuing separate classes of common stock with differing voting power. Last week in Washington the SEC held two days of rare public hearings on the stock exchange's controversial proposal to abandon the rule. At issue is nothing less than the way in which U.S. corporations will be structured and governed.

The dispute is the result of the fire storm of takeovers that has swept through corporate...

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