Spottily-Gimlet Media + Anchor

Summary: The report deck assignment is the capstone project for BCaP. The project has three main components: a preliminary oral presentation, a written report deck, and a final oral presentation. Through this project, you will practice the skills you’ve developed over the course of the semester: writing, speaking, visual design, and communicating with (and as) a team.

The following are the mergers your consulting firm will be analyzing:

• Spotify-Gimlet Media + Anchor
• CVS-Aetna
• Amazon-Whole foods
• Dell-EMC
• Bayer-Monsanto
• Anheuser Busch-Miller
• ATT – Time Warner

What should we research?
The topics covered in your report will vary depending on the companies and industry of your assigned merger. The following questions may help you, however, as you conduct your research and structure your report. Do not structure your presentations and reports merely as answers to this series of questions. Instead, see these questions as starting points for your research and allow your structure to grow from the topics and issues that emerge from your findings.

• Has consolidation in the industry resulted in changes in consumer experience?
o Pricing?
o Products and services?
o Consumer choice?
• Relatedly, who is the target market for each company, and how will the merger impact their market share?
• How will the merger impact company branding (i.e., how and if it positions itself as high-end, budget, “green,” etc.)?
• How will the merger impact company valuations?
• Is active or tacit collusion within the industry a factor?
• Could this merger be at risk of transgressing any anti-competitive rules or regulations?
• Will the merger result in efficiencies, synergies, and/or innovation?
• How will the merger impact employees? The corporate culture? Will it/has it affected the location of the HQ?
• Will the merger create jobs or destroy jobs?
• Will the merger increase the income gap between senior management and everyone else?
• How will the merger impact small businesses in the industry (competitors and companies in the supply chain)?
• Will this merger lead to other mergers so companies in the industry can maintain leverage in negotiations?

Where should we start?
You can begin by reading these two articles in order to gain a better understanding of the current conversations and debates that surround larger mergers in the US.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/opinion/sunday/how-mergers-damage-the-economy.html
https://hbr.org/2017/12/what-the-big-mergers-of-2017-tell-us-about-2018

You will need to find additional sources on your own to complete the project. Here are some key search terms that may help you and your team start your research:

Merger, acquisition, consolidation, vertical integration, antitrust, consumer protection

You might also review mergers & acquisitions (M & A) as a topic in the business press, such as HBR
https://hbr.org/topic/mergers-and-acquisitions

How will we present our findings?
This project has three main parts:

Plagiarism and Academic Honesty:
The work of each student should be the work of that student and be work completed for this particular course in this particular semester. Work completed in a previous semester or for another course, borrowed from another student, or taken from any other source without attribution will be considered plagiarized and subject to college penalties for academic misconduct. The use of research, writing, or intellectual property from any source taken without providing appropriate documentation constitutes plagiarism and will be regarded as academic misconduct. Do not cut and paste the exact language from a website for use in any of your assignments unless you do the following: provide quotation marks to indicate the language is not yours AND cite the source. Otherwise, you have plagiarized.

Plagiarism of any kind will result, at the minimum, in a zero on the assignment for all involved parties and a drop of a full letter grade for the final grade in the course. Particularly egregious cases of plagiarism may result in a possible failure of the course. Students who are reported for academic misconduct in this class will not subsequently be allowed to withdraw from the class and may be required to submit all team assignments as individual assignments.

Students with questions about how to provide sufficient documentation or what constitutes collaboration should consult with the instructor or course supervisor before submitting their assignment. Claiming you did not know what you did was plagiarism will not be considered a valid excuse for academic misconduct.

The written report deck has 2 submission phases—only the 2nd and final submission goes through plagiarism screening. If a student submits plagiarized material for the 1st submission and no one notices that does not mean the plagiarism is somehow “ok” or permissible. It is the student’s responsibility to insure that all language he or she produces for the deck is either original or is properly quoted and cited on the report deck slide.

Per the syllabus, assignments that go through Turnitin plagiarism screening through ICON are subject to a borrowed language penalty if they are found to contain phrases or sentence structures that are copied from other material. Depending on the extent of the borrowed language, the assignment may receive one of the following borrowed language designations:

• Level 1 Minimal appropriation of language from assignment prompt. Points ceiling on assignment of 89% of total points
• Level 2 Minimal borrowed language, but it does include at least one noticeable phrase taken from an outside source. Points ceiling of 82%
• Level 3 Borrowed language is evident: more than one noticeable phrase taken from an outside source OR extensive borrowing from the assignment prompt. Points ceiling of 75%
• Level 4 Borrowed language is evident and more extensive; lower points ceiling may be designated depending on severity of borrowed language, and an academic misconduct penalty may be warranted. Points ceiling of 67%
• Level 5 Borrowed language is extensive and merits failure; lower points ceiling may be designated depending on severity of borrowed language, and an academic misconduct penalty may be warranted. Points ceiling of 59%

Level 5 or multiple level 4 plagiarism violations detected on the final submission of the report deck will result in a 0/25 individual score for the second submission.

The points ceiling means that an assignment may receive no higher than the ceiling designated, although it may receive lower for reasons unrelated to the borrowed language (e.g. errors in grammar/usage; poor organization; imprecise word choices).