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Negotiation and Improving Decision Making

Re-enact and analyze a historical negotiation scenario

1. Part 1: Re-enact AOL/Time Warner Merger negotiation scenario through role play and imagined dialogue. The three parties are 1) AOL shareholders, 2) Time Warner shareholders, and 3) Consumer Union. First, do some background research on your party's motives and interests in the negotiation. Then create an imagined dialogue between the 3 negotiating parties. Think about each party's feelings, motives, and interests, and present them. Ask questions of each opponent. Hide information from each opponent if each party did so in real life. Propose and respond to settlements. It's ok if the dialogue isn't completely historically accurate. What matters most is that you present each party's known position and actions as fully and accurately as possible so that you have enough information to analyze during the second part of the project.

Example dialogue:

BASEBALL PLAYERS' UNION: The players have decided to strike because they aren't happy with their contracts.

STADIUM FOOD VENDORS: A strike might force the cancellation of the entire season! This could ruin my business!

FANS: You already earn extremely large salaries. What more could you want?

BASEBALL PLAYERS' UNION: Our terms are as follows: [terms X, Y, and Z]

TEAM OWNERS: Couldn't we finish this season and just keep negotiating?

BASEBALL COMMISSIONER: I propose the following: [settlement proposal X]

and so on.

2. Part 2 (Group): Analyze the negotiation scenario. Summarize and analyze the negotiation. In your analysis be sure to address the following 7 questions' answers:

1. Who were the parties?
2. What was the final outcome?
3. What were the alternatives to a negotiated agreement? Were the parties aware of these alternatives?
4. What were each party's set of interests? Were the parties aware of their interests?
5. How did the parties create or claim value?
6. Indicate whether any party made any of the following cognitive mistakes in the negotiation:
* Assuming a fixed-pie perspective
* Lack of awareness of framing effects
* Nonrational escalation of conflict
* Negotiator overconfidence
* Negotiator egocentrism
* Anchoring
* Ignoring the cognition of others
7. If cognitive mistakes were made, how did they affect the negotiation? How might the parties have acted differently?

Solution Preview

Please see response attached for full response and active links (also below). I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

Re-enact and analyze a historical negotiation scenario

1. Part 1: Re-enact AOL/Time Warner Merger negotiation scenario through role-play and imagined dialogue. The three parties are (e.g. it sounds like these will be the three parties in your negotiation process. What do you think each party would be thinking? Write it down into a statement similar to your example provided below, What did they want to see happen? What were their intentions? e.g., purely financial, customers safety, fear of hostile takeover, etc. What do you think each party would be saying to each other? Were they happy about the merger? Why or why not? These questions are aimed at determining the motives of each party. What did they want? What were they intentions? The examples below discuss some of their intentions, at least the ones they want the public to know and think).

1) AOL shareholders (e.g. what would they be thinking? What would they want? What would they want to say and ask? What are they interested in? See Example 1 below suggesting that they are okay with the merger)
2) Time Warner shareholders (e.g. what would they be thinking? What would they want? What would they want to say and ask? What are they interested in? See Example 1 below suggesting that they are okay with the merger)
3) Consumer Union (e.g. what would they be thinking? What would they want? What would they want to say and ask? What are they interested in? See Example 2 below suggesting that they are okay with the merger)

a. First, do some background research on your party's motives and interests in the negotiation.

A: This question is straightforward. You will need to research the AOL/Time Warner Merger (e.g., motives and intentions). What did AOL stockholders want? What did Time Warner stockholders want? What were their intentions? What did Consumer Union want? What is each party interested in? e.g., financial gain, pride of being the biggest merger in history, etc. ? The examples below suggest each of them were okay with the merger, but you will need to bring out the intentions in the scenario.
I am wondering what you know about your parties so far. Have you begun your research yet? I did an Internet search and come with the following examples, and two attached articles for your consideration The following information should give you some excellent ideas for the negotiation scenario, as they even have several direct quotes:

Example 1: Time Warner, AOL Shareholders Approve Merger

AOL AND TIME WARNER: FRAGILE PROMISES

. Why did the media refer to the merger as the deal of the century? Because the scale of the deal is enormous. But despite all the talk of impressive synergies between AOL, the Netscape browser, and Time Warner's movies, TV and cable networks, the reality is a little less magnificent. The agreed deal, the world's largest ever takeover worth $160bn in shares, brought waves of analyst euphoria and predictable hype. (see http://www.accountancyage.com/analysis/it/105209).

Time Warner, AOL Shareholders Approve Merger: By Lori Enos

E-Commerce Times 06/26/00 12:00 AM PT Time Warner Chairman and CEO Gerald M. Levin:
Clearing the way for a mega-merger that could radically change the high-tech landscape, stockholders of Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and America Online (NYSE: AOL) voted overwhelmingly in favor of the pending deal Friday at separate shareholder meetings. Although the merger faces opposition that could delay approval from federal regulators, the companies maintain that the union will take place this year.

Shareholder, Executive Enthusiasm

The merger was supported almost unanimously by shareholders of each company. Approximately 97 percent of America Online shareholders, meeting in Tysons Corner, Virginia, approved the merger. At the Time Warner meeting in New York City, approximately 99 percent of the shareholders approved the deal.

Said AOL Chairman and CEO Steve Case, "We thank both America Online and Time Warner shareholders for their support. Every day since we announced this merger, we are seeing more and more potential for what America Online and Time Warner can achieve together for consumers worldwide."
Case added, "Our combined shareholders' approval marks a major milestone in our progress to complete this historic merger." http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/3645.html

Example 2: CONSUMERS UNION COMMENTS ON AOL-TIME WARNER MERGER APPROVAL
CU says FCC and FTC transformed merger that once threatened competition into one that could expand consumer choice

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gene Kimmelman, Co-Director of Consumers Union's Washington DC Office, made the following statement today following the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s approval of the merger of America Online (AOL) and Time Warner. The FCC's action follows the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)'s approval of the merger on December 14:
"In the face of enormous dangers to consumers, federal regulators have imposed critical consumer protections on the merger of AOL and Time Warner. The combined actions of the FCC and the FTC have transformed a merger that threatened competition into one that could actually expand consumers' choices for high-speed Internet and interactive TV services.

"We asked the FCC to sever the ownership links between AT&T and Time Warner, which are America's two biggest providers of cable television, serving about half of the consumers across the country. Last month, the FCC ordered AT&T and Time Warner to split their joint ownership of cable properties, and the agency reiterated this determination in its review of the AOL-Time Warner merger. This is a huge victory for consumers because it creates an opportunity for significant rivalry between AT&T and AOL Time Warner in the cable-programming and Internet-services markets.

"Meanwhile, we asked the FTC for a strong 'open access' requirement for AOL Time Warner. The FTC came through for consumers by insisting on such a requirement, which means that the merged company has to keep Time Warner cable lines open to Internet service providers other than AOL. It guarantees that consumers served by Time Warner cable systems will have a variety of choices among high-speed Internet service providers not affiliated with AOL Time Warner. And the FCC has specifically ensured that local and regional Internet service providers must receive fair consideration for carriage on AOL Time Warner's cable systems.

"We also asked the FTC to require nondiscriminatory access for interactive television providers, who will eventually offer consumers a sort of 'split-screen' access to the Internet and TV programming. Interactive television could become the most popular way for consumers to watch TV and surf the Net. Thanks to the FTC's actions, AOL cannot prevent rival providers of interactive TV from offering their services to consumers served by Time Warner ...

Solution Summary

Through illustrative examples, this solution assists in re-enacting and analyzing a historical negotiation scenario. Then, by addressing the seven questions, this solution also assists in the analysis and summary of the negotiation scenario and the negotiation. Supplemented with two articles on AOL/Time Warner Merger and the history of AOL.

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