Friday, 22 January 2016

Joint venture strategies: a new book

Joint Venture Strategies: Design, Bargaining and the Law, by Zenichi Shishido, Munetaka Fukuda and Masato Umetani, is quite the most interesting read this reviewer has seen for some time.  The authors come from quite different backgrounds -- one from academe, the other two from industry -- but their shared interest in reaching a negotiated agreement brings together both their understanding of the practical application of game theory and their management experience with Solar Frontier and Fuji Xerox.

According to the publisher (Anglo-American firm Edward Elgar Publishing):
Although they have the potential to create synergies, joint ventures by their nature contain inherent risk. Therefore, each partner in a joint venture needs to incentivize each other in order to maximize its own payoff. Extensive pre-contractual and post-contractual bargaining is essential. This book provides successful bargaining strategies from the point of view of each partner company.

Using a game theoretical framework to analyze joint venture strategy, it describes practical and legal issues that arise when creating synergies and incentive bargaining in a joint venture. With a particular [and very much welcomed] focus on intellectual property law, including analysis based on many real cases, the book covers issues relating to creating synergies, corporate law issues of conflicts of interest, and antitrust law issues relating to cooperation between independent companies.

Theoretically new and practically useful, Joint Venture Strategies will appeal to academics and practising lawyers. From a corporate perspective, this book is essential for successful joint venture planning and strategy.
While the book has a decidedly Japanese flavour to it, and much detail is drawn from Japanese JVs (there is a lengthy appendix which lists all joint ventures reported in Nikkei over the past 15 years), the default law is that of the United States.

Further information about this book can be accessed from the publisher here.

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