Open Markets Institute supports the Justice Department’s decision to sue to block AT&T’s effort to buy Time Warner
November 21, 2017
In a statement, Barry Lynn, executive director of OMI, said: “The deal is anti-competitive, and would enable the merged company to raise prices, discriminate against rivals, cripple new upstarts, and slow innovation. The deal would accelerate a dangerous trend of consolidation in the media and telecommunications industries, where control over production and distribution of information is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. This threatens not only America’s open market system but our democracy.”
OMI believes the DOJ’s action should serve as a first step towards restoring the open, democratic, highly distributed media structure that existed in the United States through most of the 20th Century. In his statement, Lynn said: “The DOJ should move to reverse the 2011 decision to allow Comcast and NBC to merge. More important, the Federal Communications Commission should abandon its grossly misbegotten effort to repeal the 2015 ‘Net Neutrality’ rules that prevent internet service providers from discriminating against specific flows of news and entertainment, and halt its attack on critical media ownership rules that safeguard against concentrated control.”
OMI strongly encourages the Republican leadership in Congress to conduct the public oversight necessary to ensure the Trump administration is not exercising improper influence over the Antitrust Division. Fair application of the antitrust laws requires that enforcement be guided by the rule of law, not by political whim.
Below are two articles from Open Markets affiliated scholars further commenting on the DOJ’s decision:
- Tim Wu, “Why blocking the ATT-Time Warner merger might be right,” New York Times, Nov. 9, 2017
- Matt Stoller, “Trump’s administration is right to block the AT&T and Time Warner merger,” Washington Post, Nov. 13, 2017.
The Open Markets Institute, formerly the Open Markets program at New America, works to protect our economy and democracy from extreme concentrations of economic and political power. We do so by researching and reporting on the political and economic dangers posed by monopolization and advocating for ways to reestablish America’s political economy on a more fair, secure, and stable footing.