Why companies buy other companies — intangibles

Here is a great quote in a recent story in The Economist on why companies from “developing” countries are buying into “developed” country markets:

Building a brand can take years and pots of money; buying an established one is often cheaper. Acquiring a rich-world company can also be a quick way to get hold of technology as well as the tacit know-how that comes with operating a firm in mature markets.

Too often we forget or ignore the tacit know-how part of this equations. As The Economist notes in a companion story, increased productivity and living standards comes from “hard engineering technology as well as the tacit knowledge of how best to organise production, support markets and manage aggregate demand.” While public policy has looked at the R&D/S&T part, where are the public policies to explicitly support the rest of the equation?

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