A Level Secondary Business

Secondary Business – A Level AQA Pre-release task

Mergers & Takeovers – AQA Pre-release research task

Download the pre-released task here, for the June 2012 and January 2013 Unit 4 paper:

The unit 4 exam is based on a pre-release case study and it is always a challenge to get student involved, one of the ways I have found is good to get the student involved is to ask them to complete some research in groups – see the template below – and then for them to complete an essay question reinforcing the research they have just completed. I ask my students to complete the boxes with as much detail as possible – which is easy for them to understand, many students have never competed research activities before and tend to cut and paste everything they find – I try to encourage them to read the information and be selective about what is needed.

This doesn’t always have to be in timed conditions this can be to plan in groups and share their ideas? There is a planning sheet attached below to help student focus on theory structure- which has been taken & adapted from www.tutor2u.net

This makes for an excellent double/2 hour lesson and they should then go away feeling confident with that bullet point. This can then be repeated for each of the 6 bullet points.

Also another excellent source of information is –

  • http://www.tutor2u.net/blog/index.php/business-studies/C634who have a dedicated section and ‘news’ feed set up to support the pre-release – which is something that I always ask my students to sign up to. This is something that is updated on a daily basis and is great for both teachers and students to gain information for the pre-release.
  • Another idea in the department was for me to use  a departmental ‘Twitter’ account to send information to students about mergers & takeovers, this is a new concept for us to use – but is something that as a college which seems to becoming more popular with students as this goes direct to their smartphones.

Research for bullet point 6 – The reasons why governments might support or intervene in takeovers and mergers

Using the links I have provided, complete the table below:

Identify one 
Name the businesses involved
What were the details of the merger/takeover?
Who are the competition commission?
Why did the government get involved?

What actions did they take?
Were any other stakeholders involved?
In your opinion is it right for the government to intervene?

Extension question – To what extent should the government support business takeover & mergers?
















Research for bullet point 6 – The reasons why governments might support or intervene in takeovers and mergers

Read the article below and answer the question that follows:
OFT clears Tesco takeover of Mills Group
Written by Fiona Briggs Monday, 14 March 2011 16:07

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has cleared Tesco’s takeover of the Mills Group through its One Stop convenience chain. However, local shops have expressed anger at the failure of the OFT to refer the merger to the Competition Commission.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “If Tesco sought to takeover a company operating 76 large supermarkets then it would most likely be blocked. We fail to see any reason why this merger has been treated differently.

“A series of takeovers of convenience store groups have taken place over the past eight years and none have been subject to a full competition investigation. In that time Tesco has grown from a convenience store estate of around 80 stores to over 1,700 today. The OFT has once again failed to fully consider the implications of this for choice and competitiveness in the long term.

“Most damaging of all is the OFTs failure to engage with the implications of the persisting growth of Tesco’s ‘shadow brand One Stop. They have therefore no answer to whether consumers are at risk of discrimination on price, quality, range and service.”
Using the article above and your own research, to what extent do you agree that government should be involved with the support of takeovers/mergers?

Donna Jestin
Teacher of Business Studies Notre Dame College & Senior Examiner for AQA

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