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In addition to Mark Manner's busy corporate legal practice, he has established himself as a respected and avid astronomer. Read more>

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On December 1, 2016, Parker Hannifin Corporation and CLARCOR Inc. announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Parker will acquire CLARCOR for approximately $4.3 billion in cash, including the assumption of net debt. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company. Upon closing of the transaction, expected to be completed by or during the first quarter of Parker’s fiscal year 2018, CLARCOR will be combined with Parker’s Filtration Group to form a leading and diverse global filtration business. Bass, Berry & Sims has served CLARCOR as primary corporate and securities counsel for 10 years and served as lead counsel on this transaction. Read more here.

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Blueprint for an IPO

Companies go public to raise capital to fuel growth, pay down debt and provide liquidity to shareholders. Although all issuers and offerings are different, the basic process of going public remains relatively constant. Blueprint for an IPO identifies the key players, details the process and identifies the obligations companies will face after going public.

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Privacy Perils: The Price of Consumer Loyalty

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Publications

August 11, 2017

People love a good discount, which is why almost 75% of adult Americans are signed up for at least one customer loyalty program. We love to rack up points with airlines for a seat upgrade, get a free Starbucks latte on our birthday, or discounted shampoo from Walgreens — all using customer rewards programs. However, how much of our privacy do we trade for that "free" latte or $1.00 off a bottle of shampoo? What are we giving away?

When a consumer enrolls in any loyalty program, that person is entering into an agreement with the company that allows the business to collect a tremendous amount of highly detailed personal data, including age, gender, address and household size. Every time you use your loyalty account, your transaction is recorded. Over time, the business is able to create a profile of your buying habits: what you buy and when, how full your shopping cart is, how much you spend and how you pay. By tracking that you always shop after 6:00 or on the weekends, it can figure out that you work during the day. The actual items in your cart give the retailer significant insight into the "real" you, your family, your likely income level, etc. — do you buy wine and beer a few times a week or just once a month? Do you only purchase organic fruits and vegetables, as well as eco-friendly cleaning products? Did you recently start buying diapers? 

Big data about consumers is valuable — particularly when large volumes are pooled together and analyzed. After collecting and analyzing big consumer data for a number of years, one foreign drug store chain began selling branded insurance. The company found that it was able to not only able to use its loyalty program data to develop targeted consumer marketing strategies, but also allowed them to directly target customers who were good insurance risks. When the company compared its consumer transaction records from its customer loyalty program with an underwriters automobile crash database, it found very interesting correlations between shopping habits and insurance risk. For example, the company found that customers who drank a lot of milk and ate red meat were very secure insurance risks versus those who ate pasta and rice, shopped at night and drank liquor. This allowed the company to market insurance directly to the supposedly low-risk customers.

Even if you avoid these programs, to the extent you use a credit card, stores are still collecting data on your purchases and tracking you, but with less detail. To the extent you want to avoid "Big Brother," pay with cash.

Privacy Perils imageCheck out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact Bob Brewer, Tony McFarland, Elizabeth Warren or a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.


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