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Billionaires to consolidate media

By Jeremy at 3:00am, December 14, 2017

Critics of media consolidation are decrying an announcement that the media company Meredith Corp., with a $650 million boost from conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch, will buy Time Inc.—which owns TimeFortunePeople, and Sports Illustrated magazines—for an estimated $2.8 billion.

In a statement announcing the all-cash deal, Meredith Corp. insisted that Koch Equity Development—a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the billionaire brothers' company that's largely been built through investments in oil, natural gas, and chemicals—"will not have a seat on the Meredith Board and will have no influence on Meredith's editorial or managerial operations."

Discussion: 
In your own words, please describe the situation outlined in the article
Do you believe that shareholders will not take a seat on the board? Why would the buyers say such a thing?
Is a free press important? Why (or why not)?
Do you think the magazines would be allowed to publish news critical of their shareholders?

This is a sample lesson from our upper-intermediate business course course. This book is suitable for these levels:

Japan has the most old companies

By Betty Chu at 10:24am, May 16, 2017

Japan has more old companies than any other developed nation. A study of 41 countries carried out by the Bank of Korea found that Japan has more than half of the known pool of companies older than 200 years.

[...] David E. Weinstein, an expert on the Japanese economy and chair of the Department of Economics at Columbia University, said nowadays business failures are as commonplace in Japan as anywhere else, but love of tradition can be a lifeline for companies with historical cachet.

Japanese family businesses have also adopted heirs outside the family, such as in-laws and talented workers, to ensure survival, he said. "It's the name that is continuing," said Weinstein. "People get attached to the names."

Discussion: 
What examples of old companies can you think of?
Do you agree that "love of tradition" and attachment to names can help a company in Japan survive?
What other reasons could explain the longevity of Japanese companies?

Toshiba loses 'billions of dollars'

By Matthew at 1:37pm, May 4, 2017

Toshiba Corp said it may have to book several billion dollars in charges related to a U.S. nuclear power plant construction company acquisition, sending its stock tumbling 12 percent and rekindling concerns about its accounting acumen.

Discussion: 
Explain the issue to your teacher.
What are your predictions for Toshiba's future?
What would be your advice to Toshiba?

We're going to practice for your interview. You'll need to make sure you are prepared for this lesson. Your teacher will give you advice for preparation at the end of the last lesson.

This lesson will look at interrupting very politely, moving the interview topic forward or backward, and finishing smoothly.

We will practice confirming key information using specific, professional language.

This lesson will look at confirming information. We use this language to check facts, confirm the overall meaning, or just to respond to surprising information.

This lesson will look at active listening—this can help you show understanding or show interest. It can also shift the focus of the interview back to you, so you can ask a question.

We will practice giving instructions or direction using clear, appropriate and polite English.

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