Stubbins, Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co. - May 2020



Mike Bryan

Friends, the past month or so has been very challenging. Who would have known we would be facing the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its very serious health risks. I never would

have predicted social distancing, the shutting down of businesses and certainly not the issuing of a stay-at-home order. It really shows how serious state and federal governments are about slowing the progress of this disease. At our office, we’ve taken many steps to keep all of our team and clients safe. We’ve taken practical steps of minimizing contact with others, washing our hands, using hand sanitizer, etc. We’ve also taken advantage of technology to allow our team to work remotely. Many clients have taken advantage of phone and video conferences as well. I’m writing this article on March 24, but you will not receive this newsletter until May. Hopefully, we are getting back to a sense of normal and the turbulent times have passed. If we have not, please continue to keep your faith and know that we will get through this. Our office, even under circumstances such as these, will be there for you to address all of your legal needs. In the meantime please visit our website for any updates regarding the virus: SWBWLawFirm. com/notice-to-swbw-clients-and-colleagues-re- coronavirus/

This February, Judge Victor Marrero changed the American business landscape dramatically when he greenlighted a merger between two communication giants: T-Mobile and Sprint. Attorneys general from 13 states andWashington, D.C., opposed the merger, arguing that if the two companies joined up, then competition in the industry would decline, cellphone bills would rise, and customers with low incomes would have a harder time keeping their coverage. Instead of backing the states, Marrero praised T-Mobile as a “maverick” and gave its controversial mission to go after AT&T and Verizon an enthusiastic thumbs-up. The T-Mobile-Sprint merger is just the latest in a wave of large-scale business marriages. In a recent article, The New York Times summed it up nicely, reporting, “In June 2018, AT&T’s bid to buy Time Warner was approved, giving the phone giant control of CNN, HBO, and the Warner Bros. film and TV studios. Shortly afterward, The Walt Disney Co. beat out Comcast to buy the majority of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox empire. Late last year, Shari Redstone combined her family’s two businesses, CBS and Viacom.” In the business world, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) happen all the time, but they usually only make headlines when they include household names, implode fantastically, or both. Examples include the EchoStar-DirecTV merger attempt in 2002 and the hoped-for AT&T-T-Mobile merger in 2011, both blocked by the U.S. government. It’s relatively rare for the government to block a merger — it generally only steps in if the marriage will lessen competition, create a monopoly, or harm consumers — but even mergers between small and midsize businesses face a rocky road to success. According to the Harvard Business Review, between 70%–90% of M&As fail. LOOK BEFORE YOU MERGE! 2 M assive M erger M istakes to A void

Take care, be safe, and see you next month.


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