The multinational, multibusiness firm is not new to markets. At the risk of arousing the ire of historians, we would argue that the colonial powers of previous centuries—the British, French, and Dutch—were the very first multinational businesses. In fact, the British were open about their commercial interests, allowing the East India Company to treat entire countries as subsidiary businesses, from which it generated profits and value. For much of the twentieth century, publicly traded firms reflected this colonial history, with firms from developed markets in the U.S. and Europe expanding into emerging markets. In the last decade, though, the equation has been muddled by the emergence of multinational, emerging-market companies ...

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