Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Antitrust: Entertainment and Telecom Merging
About a year and a half ago, I wrote about our industry mirroring past trends and moving toward antitrust issues. Over 70 years ago, courts decided that movie studios could not own movie theatres, because:
The ownership of everything from the beginning of the production all the way through the final sale to the end consumer (vertical integration) means lots of money and control. Never letting any competition in, or dictating terms to them, can be good for your [the owner's] short term bottom line
(from What's Old Is New Again: Antitrust). And that's bad for everyone, even eventually the owners of the company/companies controlling everything. Innovation and competition tend to improve the options consumers have and improve the health and profits of an industry.
Today, Variety reports,
Time Warner shareholders have overwhelmingly voted to approve the media conglomerate's upcoming sale to AT&T. The governmental authorities, both in the US and EU, have not yet given their final approval. However, the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
We may be working for the phone company soon, at least whenever we're on a TV or film set owned by Warner and its subsidiary companies. The audience may soon get the delightful experience and value-for-their-money they already get from their cell phone or cable company.
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