AT&T’S ACQUISITION OF TIME WARNER

AT&T, the US’s second largest wireless telecommunications company, agreed to acquire media powerhouse Time Warner last week in a deal worth $85bn. This is one of the biggest media tie-ups ever which will combine Time Warner’s content brands including HBO, CNN and Warner Bros with AT&T’s portfolio of mobile, broadband and satellite TV services which consists of more than 130 million mobile phone customers and 25 million pay-TV subscribers through DirecTV. AT&T-Time Warner is a „vertical merger“ meaning two companies with two different kinds of businesses are being put under the same roof.This type of deal should allow AT&T to create a better user experience as they access content across multiple devices, such as their cellphone, tablet or TV. On the other hand, critics were concerned that the deal could lead to less consumer choice, higher prices and a threat to media plurality. A Time Warner acquisition by AT&T may start a new wave of consolidation and cause 21st Century Fox and Disney to consider big deals of their own.

OVERVIEW OF THE US ELECTION CAMPAIGN

The most powerful nation on earth has elected a new leader and we are bringing you some information regarding to their campaigns. Hillary Clinton continues to dominate the money race thanks in large part to a cadre of wealthy donors sending tens of millions of dollars. Her campaign raised more than $513mil of which hundreds of millions have been poured into television advertisements on her behalf. Heading into the final days of the campaign, Clinton has more cash in the bank which is giving her a significant advantage for mobilizing voters and getting her message out. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has relied mainly on his own wealth and millions of small donations to fund his campaign. Latest data shows that he raised around $254mil which was partly given out of his own pocket, until May, when he actively began seeking outside funds. It is obvious that Trump’s campaign had more success.

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THE ARRIVAL OF IKEA IN INDIA

It’s been three long years, but the world’s largest furniture retailer, IKEA, has finally begun constructing its first store in India, more accurately in in the southern city of Hyderabad. The opening is announced for the next year and the store itself will have 7,500 products on sale and the restaurant on site which will be serving Swedish specialties, as well as Indian foods. In India, IKEA will sell the same items as in other countries but with a spectre of localized products for typically smaller and often crowded Indin homes with several generations of the family living in the same space. “We are learning from India. We are excited by the amazing diversities and opportunities that exist,” said Maeztu, who has been traveling and meeting Indian families. To be part of the $600bn Indian retail market, Ikea has pledged to invest over $1.5bn in India over the next 10 years. Estimations are that the store is going to attract between five and six million customers every year.

MARKS&SPENCER STRUGGLING-CLOSURE OF UP TO 30 STORES

Marks & Spencer is expected to announce the closure of dozens of stores next week. Speculations are that some stores will face closures while others will be space reallocated as the company tries to capitalize on the success of its food and drink products. Smaller outlets in flagging towns and shopping centers are likely to be closed, and other stores could be relocated or downsized over several years, potentially leading to thousands of job losses. From Marks&Spencer has recently been announced that they plan to cut more than 500 jobs in Paddington where their London head office is placed. Last year M&S closed a net five “discount” stores and one high street outlet in the UK, but increased total trading space slightly by opening dozens of franchised Simply Food stores. The group closed 13 stores in Europe last year. “There are a lot of traditional high street shops that have not had a lot of money spent on them for a long time,” said Tony Shiret, an analyst at Haitong, suggesting that M&S should shut 20% of its space, as many as 60 stores.

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