English Practice Cloze Test for SBI PO Mains

Mentor for Bank Exams
English Practice Cloze Test for SBI PO Mains
Directions (1 – 10): In the following passage there are blanks each of which has been numbered. These numbers are printed below the passage and against each, five words/phrases are suggested one of which fits the blank appropriately. Find out the appropriate word/phrase in each case:

In just 10 years, the world’s five largest companies by market capitalisation have all changed, save for one: Microsoft. ExxonMobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Shell Oil are out, and Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon and Facebook have taken their place. They’re all tech companies, and each (1) its corner of the industry: Google has an 88% market share in search advertising, Facebook (and its subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) owns 77% of mobile social traffic and Amazon has a 74% share in the e-book market. In classic economic terms, all three are monopolies. We have been (2) back to the early 20th century, when arguments about “the curse of bigness” were advanced by US President Woodrow Wilson’s counsellor, Louis Brandeis, before Wilson appointed him to the US Supreme Court. Brandeis wanted to eliminate monopolies, because, in the words of his biographer Melvin Urofsky, “in a democratic society, the (3) of large centres of private power is dangerous to the continuing vitality of a free people”.
We need look no further than the conduct of the largest banks in the 2008 financial crisis or the role that Facebook and Google play in the ‘fake news’ business to know that Brandeis was right. While Brandeis generally opposed regulation — which, he worried, (4) led to the corruption of the regulator — and, instead, advocated breaking up ‘bigness’, he made an exception for ‘natural’ monopolies, like telephone, water and power companies and railroads, where it made sense to have one or a few companies in control of an industry. Could it be that these companies — and Google in particular — have become natural monopolies by supplying an entire market’s demand for a service, at a price lower than what would be offered by two competing firms? And if so, is it time to (5) them like public utilities?
Consider a historical analogy: the early days of telecommunications. In 1895, a photograph of the business district of a large city might have shown 20 phone wires attached to most buildings. Each wire was owned by a different phone company, and none of them worked with the others. Without network effects, the networks themselves were almost useless. The solution was for a single company, American Telephone and Telegraph, to consolidate the industry by buying up all the small operators and creating a single network — a natural monopoly. The government permitted it, but then (6) this monopoly through the Federal Communications Commission. AT&T had its rates regulated, and was required to spend a fixed percentage of its profits on research and development. In 1925, AT&T set up Bell Labs as a separate subsidiary with the (7) to develop the next generation of communications technology, but also to do basic research in physics and other sciences.
Over the next 50 years, the basics of the digital age — the transistor, the microchip, the solar cell, the microwave, the laser, cellular telephony — all came out of Bell Labs, along with eight Nobel Prizes. In a 1956 (8) decree, in which the US Justice Department allowed AT&T to maintain its phone monopoly, the US government extracted a huge (9): all past patents were licensed royalty-free, and all future patents were to be licensed for a small fee. These licenses led to the creation of Texas Instruments, Motorola, Fairchild Semiconductor and many other startups. True, the internet never had the same problems of (10). And Google’s route to dominance is different from the Bell System’s. Nevertheless, it still has all of the characteristics of a public utility.
1. A) ambiguous   B) intermission   C) dominates   D) acquiesces   E) indulges  
2. A) conjectural   B) recessed   C) relinquish   D) succumb   E) transported
3. A) knuckle   B) existence   C) vacillating   D) con recreation cede   E) buckle
4. A) inevitably   B) capitulate   C) kowtow   D) sabbatical   E) fiesta
5. A) regulate   B) abide   C) accede   D) ambivalent   E) wavering  
6. A) speculative   B) yielded   C) regulated   D) tolerated   E) None of these
7. A) erratic   B) indistinct   C) truckle   D) submissive   E) mandate
8. A) precarious   B) appease   C) relent   D) consent   E) respite  
9. A) vague   B) inconstant   C) withstand   D) concession   E) stoop
10. A) variable   B) interoperability   C) liberty   D) furlough   E) denial
Answers:
1. C) dominates – have power and influence over.
2. E) transported – take or carry (people or goods) from one place to another by means of a vehicle, aircraft, or ship.
3. B) existence – the fact or state of living or having objective reality.
4. A) inevitably – as is certain to happen; unavoidably.
5. A) regulate – control or maintain the rate or speed of (a machine or process) so that it operates properly.
6. C)
7. E) mandate – an official order or commission to do something.
8. D) consent – permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.
9. D) concession – a thing that is granted, especially in response to demands.
10. B) interoperability – the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information