Yahoo!: Microsoft v. News Corp.
Tech in the News
Microsoft, owner of one of the top 3 search engines in the world, is interested in buying Yahoo! (it’s closest competitor) in an effort to bulk up for a head-to-head competition with Google.
The 7th grade spent our class together discussing the implications of both of these potential events. For the Microsoft merge, we discussed why MS would be interested in buying Yahoo!, how search engines generate revenue from advertising, and the implications of having less choices for search engines.
When talking about the News Corp. deal, we went discussed freedom of the press, the building of communications conglomerates and the effect of monopolization on competition and freedom of choice.
Students ended class in small groups. Each group chose an industry (fashion, booksellers, ski resorts, to name a few) and imagined what things would look like if a single company took over that entire industry. Some discussion highlights:
- Maya and Becky suggested that if there was only a single clothing retailer, people’s economic status wouldn’t be reflected in their clothing but that people would lose their ability to express their individuality through dress.
- Owen pointed out that if Barnes & Noble were the only bookseller, they could drastically reduce the amount of stores needed in any geographic area, thus reducing costs.
- Nava, Savannah & Isaac hypothesized that if Papaya made and sold all the clothing in the country, the price of clothing could be reduced and garment workers could be paid a fair living wage.
- Sam, Tristan & Stephan said that if all the ski areas were owned by a single company, then that organization could raise and lower the prices of lift tickets at all resorts simultaneously knowing that there weren’t better deals in the area.
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