BUSN623 Final essay

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Course objectives:

  • CO1 Assess the legal environment of business.
  • CO2 Explain how ethical frameworks shape business decisions.
  • CO10 Assess laws applying to antitrust and consumer protection.

Assignment Prompt:
The following five (5) companies have been in the news due to either a consumer protection or antitrust problem. Select ONE of these companies from the first column as the subject of your paper. You are provided source links in the table about the company to get you started. You will need to do more research about the company as well as the ethical frameworks and applicable law.


Fact sources to get you started

Comments/additional sources

Southern Rail, U.K.

(Consumer issue)

Little, S. (2018, January 16). Southern Rail voted UK’s worst train service for third year in a row. Independent. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/southern-rail-uk-worst-train-service-2017-third-year-row-which-thameslink-great-northern-a8162516.html

Additional citation for you for facts:

Stauffenberg, J. (2016, August 18). Two girls hit as ceiling collapses on Southern Rail train. Independent. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/southern-rail-train-ceiling-roof-collapse-commuters-two-girls-injured-hit-a7197541.html

For other issues, think creatively: explore employment, workplace safety (a subset of employment), tort of negligence (what duty is owed passengers?), defamation, —- remember this company is in U.K.



Google faces antitrust fine from EU over Adsense. (2019, March 15). Pymnts. Retrieved from https://www.pymnts.com/news/regulation/2019/google-antitrust-fine-eu/

Note this is EU antitrust law.

Google is rich ground for finding other areas of law to discuss. Consider such topics as privacy, contract, defamation, intellectual property, employment

Rent-A-Center Business


Eiserer, T. & Smith, M. (2018, May 23). That couch you’re sitting on could land you in jail. WFAA. Retrieved from https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/local/investigates/that-rented-couch-youre-sitting-on-could-land-you-in-jail/287-556666587


Complaints and accusations of abusive collection practices pile up against Rent-A-Center. (2017, November 15). MarketWatch. Retrieved from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/complaints-and-accusations-of-abusive-collection-practices-pile-up-against-rent-a-center-2017-11-15

This is in Texas. You might take a look at possible prosecution of Rent-A-Center in California. Not clear this is all the same umbrella company, a franchise, or just common practices by same type companies in TX, but I suspect it is RAC. Take a look at the second article I listed in VA. Tons of issues here. For other the legal topics, consider contract, defamation, trespass, and other torts (research these)



Spotify v. Apple

Vincent, J. (2019, March 13). Spotify files antitrust complaint over “Apple tax.” The Verge. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/13/18263453/spotify-apple-app-store-antitrust-complaint-ec-30-percent-cut-unfair


Lapowsky, I. (2019, March 13). Spotify’s Apple complaint cuts to a core antitrust issue. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/spotify-apple-complaint-warren-antitrust-issue/

For the other topics, look into Apple’s employment practices, contract practices, privacy protections, corporate social responsibility, ethical code, etc.

Heritage Pharmaceuticals


Associated Press. (2016, December 15). 20 states sue 6 makers of generic drugs, alleging conspiracies to manipulate prices. L.A. Times. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-generic-drug-antitrust-20161215-story.html

This has morphed from a couple of drugs to a cartel of 300 drugs involved. See this one:

Rowland, C. (2018, December 9). Investigation of generic ‘cartel’ expands to 300 drugs. Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/investigation-of-generic-cartel-expands-to-300-drugs/2018/12/09/fb900e80-f708-11e8-863c-9e2f864d47e7_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.69e8e9f9d684

For other areas of law, look into employment, contract, ADR, securities, intellectual property

When you have selected your company, research and cover the following points in a well written essay. Use APA format and topical headings.

  1. In an introductory paragraph identify the company, the topic and a well crafted thesis statement.
  2. Briefly describe the company and the nature of its business and corporate business environment. Do not spend a lot of time on the history of the company, but do describe sufficiently to create meaningful context. This should only need to be a paragraph.
  3. Research, define and discuss the legal issues and regulatory environment for the company’s consumer or antitrust issue. (i.e., What are the laws involved?) Include case law.
  4. Ethical dilemma and frameworks: Identify the ethical dilemma that the company presents with respect to its antitrust or consumer problem. This should be encapsulated in a single sentence. Evaluate two ethical frameworks with respect to the company’s management’s decisions that led to the situation. One of these should be the ethical framework you identify as the framework the company followed in its decision-making. The other should be a contrasting framework that might have produced a different situation for the company.
  5. Other legal topics that relate to the company’s business: Also, clearly define and evaluate three (3) additional legal topics (NOT antitrust or consumer protection) that we covered this term — and that are explained in your text and required readings, and apply them to the company’s business. (Hint: Review the legal topics in the textbook and cite to the the text in your analysis. We covered many subjects. Examples: contracts, torts, product liability, bankruptcy, securities & stocks trading, employment issues, defamation, privacy, ADR, etc. Include illustrative case law.)
  6. General recommendations for business leadership and managers that you have learned from this study (not just for the company you have selected, but for running a business).
  7. Conclusion.
  8. References list

Further Guidance:

  1. Reflect on the class discussions and the text, required readings, articles that you have read during the class and use the information, and other academic sources
  2. Write a well-supported analytical essay critiquing the company, its operations, and the ethical dilemma it caused. Discuss the legal issues and concepts identified and make recommendations for management. LENGTH: – See RUBRIC.
  3. NUMBER OF SOURCES: See RUBRIC. Exemplary level of performance is at least 7 sources, at least 2 of which from library and none of which from excluded sources.
  4. Proper citation and references formatting must be in APA 6th ed. 2nd printing. For APA Guidelines, refer to Purdue’s OWL, the APA Tips PPT previously provided, or the tutorials in the Library.
  5. Papers that do not include appropriate in text citations will lose points.
  6. Dictionaries, encyclopedias — including Investopedia — Wikis, and the like, and Internet generic quick-answer websites are not acceptable to populate your Reference list. See the Announcement on Scholarly Sources for reminder on best sources.
  7. Review the Grading Rubric.
  8. Organize your paper with appropriate subheadings.
  9. Do not write in 1st or 2nd person. Paper must be written in 3rd person.
  10. Do not use contractions.
  11. All sources on References list must be correctly cited in the text of the paper and vice versa

Grading Rubric

The rubric is provided in the Gradebook for your convenience. Please review it carefully prior to submitting your work.

Turn It In

Your paper will automatically refer to Turn It In upon submittal. If you obtain a report above 15% (excluding reference list and direct quotes), you must review the cause and rewrite and resubmit to fix the problem. Further, as to direct quotes, these must be in quotation marks with the source properly cited. No more than 10% should attribute to direct quotes. Submit a draft of your paper before the due date to test it for Turn It In. You are permitted multiple submissions for this purpose.

Papers must be submitted in MS Word.


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