FINAL EXAM: INNOVATION, MARKETING STRATEGY, AND ANTITRUST
(LGST 205, LGST 805, MKTG 260, MKTG 760)
THE WHARTON SCHOOL, UPENN
SPRING SEMESTER 2021, PROFESSOR HOVENKAMP
Distributed April 22; Due April 29 (midnight)
This is an open book, take home essay; however, you are limited in the reading materials that you can use to answer the question. The exam is cumulative, but it will focus on the materials from the second part of the course. These include: Topics #7 – #11 (through BMI) and the posted PowerPoint slides. You may also rely on the material that we covered in the first part of the course, which includes PRINCIPLES OF ANTITRUST, Chs. 1, 3, 6-7; Topics #1 – #6; and related slides.
Your answer should be an analytic memorandum and it should draw specific conclusions. Adhere strictly to the word limit, which is 1000 words. Do not consult with anyone, whether a student in this class or someone else. Write your essay in Microsoft Word, including your name and email address at the top. It is due midnight, April 29. When you save your file make sure that the filename includes your own last name.
Email your exam to both Prof H (hh[email protected]) and Briana ([email protected])
NewsShare is a professional digital platform that specializes in content oriented toward journalists and other participants in news-gathering and production. Its content includes digital photographs and video that are posted by users and classified by subject matter. In addition, NewsShare posts two-party messaging, and also specialized message boards with discussion subjects, including reviews of professional cameras and other reporting gear, political reporting, weather, arts, human interest, and so on. Most of NewsShare’s users are journalists, editors, film producers, including freelancers operating in these areas. NewsShare is generally free to users and is supported by advertising as well as some product sales. For example, while viewing videos or photographs on NewsShare is free-of-charge, news outlets and freelancers can purchase licenses to posted videos or photographs and then reprint them in their publications or play them on their television stations or websites. These fees are set by the poster of the content, and typically range from $5 to $15 per photo or $5/minute for video content. Users pay this money directly to NewsShare through a standard e-commerce shopping cart on the website. NewsShare then pays these monies over to the posting content-owner, after taking out a 30% commission.
NewsShare is not the only platform in this space, but it is the largest among its close competitors, which include DigitalNewsServices and NewsNetwork. Of these, NewsShare has a market share of about 65%, DigitalNewsServices 25%, and NewsNetwork 10%. However, in the broader market for the various services that NewsShare covers, its market share is much smaller. For example, it accounts for less than 2% of internet-posted photographs and 1% of internet-posted videos. It has even smaller market shares in the general messaging and general message board market.
Several things have occurred in the previous months that have caught the attention of the Justice Department, where you are employed:
1. NewsShare has announced that it will no longer post users’ videos unless they agree not to post them on any other platform.
2. In 2020, NewsShare and DigitalNewsServices agreed to cross license battleground photographs from war zones, which are very dangerous to take. Under the agreement, any photograph of this kind that is posted on one website will be available on both.
3. Under the same agreement, all cross-licensed battleground photos will be sold to subscribers at a price of $35 each.
4. NewsShare’s smallest competitor, NewsNetwork, has been researching and patenting a powerful specialized search engine that promises to be an important tool but that could divert substantial business away from NewsShare when it is deployed. NewsShare informs NewsNetwork that it will withhold all of its photo and video content from NewsNetwork unless it abandons the search engine project.
Write a 1000-word memorandum analyzing these practices and recommending whether the Antitrust Division should challenge any or all of them under the antitrust laws. If you need any additional facts in order to complete your analysis, state what those facts are. Submit your memorandum by midnight, April 29.
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