Category Archives: MGMT 520 (NEW)

MGMT 520 Week 7 Case Study FaceSpace (Paul and Thomas Geoffries) (2 Papers) NEW

MGMT 520 Week 7 Case Study FaceSpace (Paul and Thomas Geoffries) NEW

 

PART A
Paul and Thomas Geoffries, brothers, are college students and web designers. While at the University of Megalopolis, a private, for-profit college in the “Quad State” area, they started an online chat service called FaceSpace.  Paul attended and resided at the college’s campus in the State of Quadrahenria.  Thomas, who was on probation during college for a low level felony drug conviction, could not be a resident student and took classes at the campus in the Commonwealth of New Guernsey campus.  The chat service began by putting information from school’s student directory online, and offering blog, chat and message board features.  FaceSpace was such a hit that within a year, the school advised the brothers that they had to remove FaceSpace from the university’s server as it was utilizing too many resources.  This was  not a problem as the Geoffries found advertisers, so they were able to move FaceSpace to a private server without charging user fees.  In fact, FaceSpace was earning so much revenue that the Geoffries brothers were able to pay themselves, and the six friends that helped them operate it salaries.  The Geoffries brothers are graduating from the University of Megalopolis, and will be attending separate graduate programs.  Paul will attend Quadrahenria State University, and Thomas the College of New Guernsey.  As FaceSpace is so successful, the brothers not only plan to expand it to the two new colleges that they are attending, but to as many other colleges within the four states comprising the “Quad State” area as possible.  They even have hopes of “going national.”  As part of their plan to expand to other campuses, they expect to recruit a student from each of the new schools “to get them in.”  They wish to formalize FaceSpace by organizing it as a proper business.  The brothers would like to maintain a majority interest in the business, give about 20 percent to the six friends from their undergraduate days that helped them run the service, and use the remaining interest in the business to attract other investors and use employee incentives.
The Geoffries seek your advice on (a) the form of business they should use, (b) who might have a claim on the business, and (c) how they might protect themselves from claims regarding a computerized internet platform.

PART B
FaceSpace has been a phenomenal success for over ten (10) years.  They are now a worldwide social networking phenomenon.  Over the years and the various incarnations of the business enterprise, they are now a corporation with just under 100 shareholders.  In anticipation of a public offering, they have just completed  a private stock offering and allowed several of the initial equity owners to exercise stock options.  The Geoffries brothers each exercised options to purchase 10,000 shares for $5 a share.  Also in anticipation of the public offering, pursuant to the early intervention drug plea he made while in college, Thomas Geoffries had his conviction expunged.  In addition, FaceSpace sold $10 million in two (2) year advertising contracts, which would allow the clients to backout for a 90 percent refund.  These unusual contracts increased their current revenue by fifteen (15%) percent.  As FaceSpace is such a phenomenon, the hype regarding the public offering has been enormous.  Even college students are attempting to but the stock.  Days before the public offering, the following occurred:  (a) a broker at their underwriter, Silversmith & Baggs, showed a pension fund director a draft version of the prospectus; (b) Paul sold 1000 shares of the stock that he purchased through the the stock option plan for $45 a share, telling the private investor that the issue price for the public offering would be at least $60 a share; (c) several of the people who bought stock in the private offering sold it at a nice profit.  The initial public stock offering had many problems.  The NASDAQ computer system could, which was implemented pursuant to a recent regulation change by the Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) could not keep up with the demand.  The system, could not accurately report the price, and many day traders, including Big Profit Hedge Fund, lost money.  Big Profit had formally filed its opposition to the SEC’s regulation when it was proposed.  After the public offering was completed, FaceSpace stock stabilized at $40 a share, well below the initial offering price of $70 a share.  In light of the fiasco of the public offering, and the bad press that it generated, users began to drop FaceSpace in favor of a new, upstart rival service offered by TronCom.  Fearful that the new advertisers would back out of their contracts, the Geoffries brothers sold a great deal of their stock. 

What issues does FaceSpace, its officers and stockholders face under (a) state securities law, (b) the Securities Act of 1933, and (b) the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.

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MGMT 520 Week 6 Case Assignment Case 24-5 United States v. Microsoft Corporation (2 Papers) NEW

MGMT 520 Week 6 Case Assignment Case 24-5 United States v. Microsoft Corporation  NEW

WEEK SIX CASE ASSIGNMENT: CASE 24-5
United States v. Microsoft Corporation
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 253 F.3d 34
(2001)
The authors recommend a close reading of the facts of United States v.
Microsoft set out earlier in this chapter. Section 2 of the Sherman Act makes it
unlawful for a firm to “monopolize.” The offense of monopolization has two
elements: (1) the possession of monopoly power in the relevant market and (2) the
willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or
development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic
accident.
The district court found that Microsoft possessed monopoly power in the market
for Intel-compatible PC operating systems. Focusing primarily on Microsoft’s
efforts to suppress Netscape Navigator’s threat to its operating systems monopoly,
the court also found that Microsoft maintained its power not through competition
on the merits but through unlawful means. Microsoft challenged both conclusions
on appeal.
Per Curiam (by the Whole Court of Appeals)
13 388 U.S. 365 (1967). We begin by considering whether Microsoft possesses monopoly power and finding
that it does, we turn to the question [of] whether it maintained this power through
anticompetitive means. Agreeing with the District Court that the company behaved
anticompetitively and that these actions contributed to the maintenance of its
monopoly power, we affirm the court’s finding of liability for monopolization.
Monopoly Power
While merely possessing monopoly power is not itself an antitrust violation, it is a
necessary element of a monopolization charge. The Supreme Court has defined
monopoly power as the power to control prices or exclude competition. More
precisely, a firm is a monopolist if it can profitably raise prices substantially above
the competitive level[;] where [there is] evidence that a firm has in fact probably
done so, the existence of monopoly power is clear. Because such direct proof is
only rarely available, courts more typically examine market structure in search of
circumstantial evidence of monopoly power. Under this structural approach
monopoly power may be inferred from a firm’s possession of a dominant share of a
relevant market that is protected by entry barriers.
“Entry barriers” are factors (such as certain regulatory requirements) that prevent
new rivals from timely responding to an increase in price above the competitive
level. The District Court considered these structural factors and concluded that
Microsoft possesses monopoly power in a relevant market. Defining the market as
Intel-compatible PC operating systems, the District Court found that Microsoft has
a greater than 95% share. It also found the company’s market position protected
by a substantial entry barrier.
Microsoft argues that the District Court incorrectly defined the relevant market. It
also claims that there is no barrier to entry in that market. Alternatively, Microsoft
argues that because the software industry is uniquely dynamic, direct proof, rather
than circumstantial evidence, more appropriately indicates whether it possesses
monopoly power. Rejecting each argument, we uphold the District Court’s finding
of monopoly power in its entirety.
Microsoft’s pattern of exclusionary conduct could only be rational if the firm knew
that it possessed monopoly power. It is to that conduct that we now turn.
Provisions in Microsoft’s agreements licensing Windows to [computer makers]
reduce usage share of Netscape’s browser and, hence, protect Microsoft’s
operating system monopoly.
Therefore, Microsoft’s efforts to gain market share in one market (browsers)
served to meet the threat to Microsoft’s monopoly in another market (operating
systems) by keeping rival browsers from gaining the critical mass of users
necessary to attract developer attention away from Windows as the platform for
software development.
We conclude that Microsoft’s commingling of browser and nonbrowser code has an
anticompetitive effect; the commingling deters computer makers from preinstalling rival browsers, thereby reducing the rivals’ usage share and, hence,
developers’ interest in rivals.
By ensuring that the majority of all [ISP] subscribers are offered [Internet
Explorer] either as the default browser or as the only browser, Microsoft’s deals
with the [ISP] clearly have a significant effect in preserving its monopoly.
Microsoft’s exclusive deals with the [Internet software vendors] had a substantial
effect in further foreclosing rival browsers from the market.
Judgment in favor of the United States (plaintiff) affirming the U.S. District Court
decision that Microsoft did possess and maintain monopoly power in the market for
Intel-compatible operating systems. An appellate court reversed other holdings of
the district court and remanded these matters for further proceedings. Case Questions
1. What monopolistic acts did Microsoft do/was guilty of? 2.
3.
4. What did the court find was the “relevant market?” Why were other markets
deemed not relevant.
How did copyright and or patent law claims play a role in this case?
What did the various courts hold and/or find? What was the basis for the
various appeals and reversals?

 

 

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MGMT 520 Week 5 Case Study (Jane Lifeguard, John, Lionel and Evelyn Harrymore) (2 Papers) NEW

MGMT 520 Week 5 Case Study (Jane Lifeguard, John, Lionel and Evelyn Harrymore) NEW

Week 5 Case Study –

Jane worked at the local country club pool as a lifeguard, not a swim teacher, for the summer of 2013. Jane was a public school physical education teacher.  The country club did not do a background check or confirm any references when they hired her.  They relied on the “say-so” or Jane’s brother, a member of the country club board of directors.  The country club only did a cursory internet search of the state’s Department of Education website to verify that she had a valid teaching certificate.   When one of the swim instructors unexpectedly quite one day, she took over the class.  Initially, the class went well.  Eventually, Jane also took over coaching the club’s competitive swim team.  When she became the swimming coach, Jane effectively stopped “teaching” the swim classes.  Instead, she had all the swimmers in the classes do races and train for competitive meets during the 30 minute lessons.  Jane had done this many times during the summer.  Her boss, the country club director, knew this and, as the swim team was winning, ignored complaints from parents and students.  Jane raced with the swimmers and pushed the winners out of the way when they tried to touch the side of the pool so that Jane’s team would win each time.  This was not the first time that Jane had injured swimmers.  Last year, she was arrested for physically abusing a child she coached at her school.  Although the criminal charges were dropped, Jane is on administrative leave from her public school job until an administrative hearing with the state Department of Education can be held in the fall.  The incident was reported in several local papers, and her administrative suspension is listed on the state’s database. 

Several of the children, ages 6-8 reported to their parents that they had been physically assaulted by Jane while in swim class for not “working hard enough!”  The children had bruises on their shoulders. In addition, Jane began “approaching” an 18 year old college student who worked as a lifeguard and assisted Jane with the coaching.  Over time, Jane’s “advances” toward the young man became very aggressive.  Jane continued even though the young man asked him to stop.  In fact, after the young man told Jane to stop as he felt harassed, Jane hired another lifeguard to assist him with the coaching.  The country club director was aware of this situation, but as the swim team was winning, he took the position that it was an interpersonal issue that the two should workout among themselves.

Several parents brought suit against the local country club, Jane and the country club director.  The young life guard has also brought suit.  The local country club pool alleges that they are not liable.  Discuss the liability issues, agency issues, and all defenses available to the local country club pool.

John, Lionel and Evelyn Harrymore, siblings and actors, decide to retire after years on the road.  They remember a town in Illinois they were familiar with from their travels.  From the internet, they learn of a farm a few miles outside of town that seems ideal.  There is a great house, and lots of land.  The Harrymores wish to convert the farm to a restaurant-hotel with a dinner theater.  They contact the realtor by phone, and make arrangements to buy the parcel.  The Harrymores plan on traveling to Illinois prior to the closing to look things over, but are unable to do so due to their touring schedule.  The realtor, whose commission is technically paid by the proceeds to the seller, and who has a listing contract with the seller, advises the Harrymores that she will handle everything.  Illinois custom, law and practice does not require a purchaser of land to have an attorney.  The realtor does only the bare minimum needed for title to transfer to the Harrymores.  On their behalf, she only has a minimal title search and minimal inspections  done, and she obtains a minimal coverage title insurance policy.  As the area near the farm was once occupied by a large chemical plant, when the realtor represents local purchasers, as a precaution, she advises the buyers to get the maximum possible title search and title insurance, and to get all possible inspections done.  It is her regular practice to caution local purchasers that she represents about the former chemical plant.

After closing on the property, the Harrymores learn of the old chemical plant.  They seek your advice as to their liability and the liability of any other parties.

 

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MGMT 520 Week 4 Course Project Contacts, Real Property or Intellectual Property Issues (Apple) NEW

MGMT 520 Week 4 Course Project contacts, real Property or Intellectual property issues (Apple) NEW

 

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MGMT 520 Week 4 Contract Case Analysis Sponge Bob (2 Papers) NEW

MGMT 520 Week 4 Contract Case Analysis SpongeBob NEW

SpongeBob is a farmer who contracted with Progresso soup to provide 6 tons of clams worth  $3000/ton to be delivered at Progresso each month.  Progresso soup needs this particular amount of clams each month for their soup in order to meet their production expectations for their customers. The contract contained some very lopsided provisions that excused Progresso soup from purchasing the clams in the event of many outlined reasons (25 pages of the contract listed out all of the reasons why Progresso could refuse to accept the clams), but prevented SpongeBob from selling his clams elsewhere without permission.  After a gulf coast oil disaster, the price of clams went up to $8000/ton.  SpongeBob delivered his clams to Progresso on time, but Progresso (who had lost a case filed against Progresso by Campbell’s soup for infringing on Campbell’s clam chowder soup recipe) refused to accept delivery. SpongeBob requested permission to sell the clams to Campbell’s (who had just doubled their own clam chowder sales), but Progresso refused to grant permission. The terms of SpongeBob’s contract with Progresso stated:

“In no event will Progresso’s refusal to accept delivery of clams excuse SpongeBob from being required to follow all other terms of this contract, including the “no sale to competitors without written permission of Progresso” clause. Progresso may withhold permission for any reason.”

Another clause says, “In the event that a court finds any portion of this contract to be illegal or void, all other portions will remain valid and enforceable.”

Another clause says, “Progresso’s liability cap on this contract is no more than the total value of the contract as stated. No 3rd party liability is assumed under this contract.”

At the time of Progresso’s refusal to grant permission, Campbells had offered SpongeBob $8500/ton for his 6 tons of clams. Instead, the clams rotted and had to be disposed of.  An animal rights group is outraged at the waste and blew up SpongeBob’s boat, destroying it.

SpongeBob wants to sue Progresso. On what bases can SpongeBob sue, recover and what will be his damages? What defenses does Progresso have? Can Progresso include Campbell’s in the lawsuit? Is the animal rights group a potential party to the contract dispute? Can SpongeBob recover for the loss of his boat against Progresso? Why or why not? Explain fully your answer.  

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