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Would you mind sharing some examples? What promising start-ups have been killed or absorbed in an unfair manner, that used to be, or should obviously be, illegal?

The article supplies pre- and post-SOX IPO counts, and while that doesn't prove anything in itself, they do smell like fish.

Well, the Yahoo/Microsoft thing comes to mind. If, as the WSJ article states, most business plans these days are ending with "and then we get bought by Google" wouldn't you, as the owner of a startup, rather have both Yahoo! and Microsoft vyying for (along with Google) your company? The more "buyers" the better, right?

Another point the article makes is that companies can't afford the massive legal costs of going public and SOX, and that is why so many of them are getting bought up (thus no new public companies). I would think by now that the "cost of going public" would be somewhere along the lines with "the cost of starting a startup" and going down as well -- with digitalization of documents, etc.

So, perhaps it's a matter of the regulation that is in place needing to play "catch up" with the reality of the times.

> Yahoo/Microsoft

I'm not sure I agree with you, but anyway, that deal fell through because of regulation. But observing that one aspect of regulation works, is hardly an argument that deregulation is bad.

> "cost of going public"

Other comments in this thread (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=406433) suggests that going public means slightly more than digitizing documents. No SAAS, no IM, no iTunes, more lawyers, more accountants. But, arguing "regulation is not hurting that much" is hardly an argument that deregulation is hurting more.

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