Question 1
An interesting example of strategic behavior comes from a 1997 article about Microsoft?s investment in Apple (New Straits Times, 1997). Facing tough anti-trust scrutiny from government agencies, Microsoft provided financial support to Apple in order to ensure Apple?s survival and, therefore, to ensure that competitiveness in the industry remains. Moreover, the partnership with Apple provided an additional market for Microsoft?s products ? the MS Office and the IE products were to be bundled with the MAC OS as one of the conditions for this financing. Discuss this case in the context of market structure and strategic behavior. What market structure do these firms operate in? Why did Microsoft need to preserve competitiveness in the industry? What was Microsoft afraid of in the event that Apple did not survive?
Question 2
Bulls Eye department store specializes in the sales of discounted clothing, shoes, household items, etc. similar to the offerings at a regular Walmart or Target. Bulls Eye is the only department store in Show Low and the nearest other discount retailer is Target, located 49 miles away in Eagar. Bulls Eye, therefore, has some market power in its local area. Despite having some market power, Bulls Eye is currently suffering losses. An analyst at Bulls Eye is recommending to the manager to raise prices, so that profitability can be improved. The manager is unsure of this strategy as recent data points to increasing numbers of individuals shopping more and more. What are the pros and cons of raising the prices at Bulls Eye and would that strategy be profitable?
Question 3
Sometimes, a bidder on a work contract may bid lower than what would maximize his/her profit from the contract and the reason for that is to create goodwill (to increase expected future business from the buyer). How would you value the goodwill that is obtained in this way?
Question 4
Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany owns the Alka-Seltzer, which was launched in 1931 and was meant for relief of minor aches, pains, inflammation, fever, headache, heartburn, sour stomach, indigestion, and hangovers. The Alka-Seltzer Plus was a spin-off of the original medicine, meant to relieve colds and flu.
The company has recently introduced a new and improved Alka-Seltzer Plus, as described in the TV ad: ?The Cold Truth?, (please, watch the ad listed in the Required Readings)
The ad shows that Alka-Seltzer Plus fights cough, body aches, runny nose, sneezing and fever, just like Vicks NyQuil does, but it also now can fight congestion, unlike NyQuil.
Explain how the new Alka-Seltzer Plus has been quality- and price-positioned in an existing market. In your opinion, has Bayer positioned their product appropriately in the market for cold and flu symptoms relief products? Would you advise Bayer to use a skimming or a penetration pricing strategy? Explain your reasoning.
How do you think Proctor and Gamble, the company who produces Vicks NyQuil,would respond to the ad?

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