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  • A single corporate entity that is composed of a variety of distinct corporate entities. A conglomerate is formed when firms in separate marketplaces merge with one another. The smaller firms' different markets rule out the possibility of competition between the newly acquired entities and also allow a profitable market in one entity to benefit a less profitable entity in the conglomerate's portfolio (e.g., revenue profits from one can be invested in upgrades in another). A disadvantage of a conglomerate is the inherent difficulty in managing effectively several unrelated business ventures. Conglomerates started to appear in the American market after World War II and experienced their heyday in the 1960s.


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