CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Grillo's Pickles

If you haven't been to the Grillo's Pickles website, you should. There, you'll find the fantastic story of how this company began. We've copied part of it here to save you a click.

Grillo's Pickles began with a pickle cart, just a small wooden stand in downtown Boston, where Travis Grillo and his friends would sell two spears for one dollar. Travis would make the pickles by night using his family's 100-year old recipe - one he'd memorized from making pickles every summer as a kid. In the morning, Travis would bike to the Boston Common and set up the cart with his buddies. They'd hang out all day, urging people to try the simple Grillo family pickle. It was a small business but Travis worked hard for it. He made more pickles, biked more miles, and slept less hours than he ever had before.
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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Factory Five Racing

Factory Five Racing was founded in 1995. Over the years they have grown from a start-up business in a small garage to become the world's largest manufacturer of "build-it-yourself" component car kits. They employ a full-time crew of about 40 people, and are located in Wareham, Massachusetts (about an hour south of Boston). They make their products right here in the USA, in the heart of New England where American manufacturing was born.
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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Luca + Danni

Fred and Danny Magnanimi grew up watching their father create beautiful, handcrafted jewelry in the family's Cranston, RI jewelry manufacturing business. When the boys grew up, Fred moved to New York and began working on Wall Street as an investment banker, while younger brother Danny, still enamored by the family business, stayed home. Increased competition from overseas businesses created significant challenges for the business, but Danny was confident he could find a way for the family business to evolve and thrive. This was his mission, this was his passion.
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        And Then There Were Three? Telecom Deregulation Likely to Happen

        2017 has brought many changes to the telecommunications industry and yet, it remains to be seen what effect recent developments will have in the future. One thing we can count on is the continued deregulation of the industry overall under the current administration.  This trend is readily apparent in two recent developments: 1) the much-rumored merger of industry giants T-Mobile and Sprint; and 2) and the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) decision to vote on rolling back prohibitions against owning both a newspaper and broadcast station within a certain vicinity. 

        Recently, rumors surrounding the potential merger of T-Mobile and Sprint have intensified.  The prior deal negotiated by the parties in 2014 was unsuccessful because regulators felt that having four major competitors in the cellular space (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile), instead of three, would preserve competition and benefit consumers.  However, the recent appointment of FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, an advocate for telecommunications deregulation, has reignited the merger discussion between T-Mobile and Sprint, something that is likely to happen in the near future.

        T-Mobile and Sprint have each battled to capture a large market share in the competitive telecommunications industry.  A merger between the two is attractive, as it would result in economies of scale and cost-cutting, saving the companies billions of dollars annually.  This would allow a greater investment in developing an expensive 5G network.  Such a merger would also allow the companies to better compete against AT&T and Verizon.  From a consumer standpoint, it is unclear what effect a merger would have on the price of cellular data plans, coverage, and customer service.  There is also a concern that a merger would eliminate thousands of jobs resulting from closing stores and shutting down call centers.  However, a merger would also reduce the “big four” cellular providers down to just three, generally reducing competition in the market place.

        Supposedly, the parties’ due diligence on each other is nearing completion.  They have each formed committees comprised of independent boards of directors to decide whether the deal should be signed once the merger agreement has been finalized.  This is expected to happen in the next three weeks.  Nonetheless, the merger would still have to be approved by the Justice Department and FCC because of its antitrust implications.  It is believed that Sprint and T-Mobile delayed their merger until now as they did not think it would be approved by the previous administration. 

        In addition, last week the FCC decided it would vote on November 16, 2017 to roll back prohibitions against common ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations within the same area.  The rules prohibiting such common ownership date back to 1975.  Chairman Pai has voiced his opinion that such a vote would allow for diversification of the industry.  Yet, critics are concerned that the deregulation of the media will lead to consolidation and monopolization, which will decrease the number of smaller, independent new outlets. 

        Although there has been much speculation, it is unclear what the merger will mean for consumers and businesses.  Those in the industry and anyone who is a consumer should stay tuned for further developments on these issues, as they will have longstanding effects on the telecom industry, services, and media.