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October 23, 2016

THE EMPIRE BUILDS THE BIGGEST DEATH STAR YET: “AT&T-Time Warner deal would create the nation’s largest entertainment company and is already raising antitrust concerns… Just 15 months ago, AT&T became the nation’s largest pay-TV operator when it acquired DirecTV. Time Warner would give it HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and Hollywood’s biggest television and film studio, Warner Bros.”

As Ed Morrissey writes, Everything old is new again. Thirty-five years ago, the government forced AT&T into ending its telecom monopoly, breaking the company up into its component parts and touching off an era of rapid communications innovation and expansion. Rather than reassemble its former monopoly, AT&T has begun to verticalize itself within a telecom-entertainment delivery paradigm.”

It’s the media world’s equivalent of the Penn Central merger or Beatrice. And as with the Penn Central merger in 1968, “AT&T-Time Warner may signal start of new media industry consolidation,” Reuters notes. What could go wrong with such a giant conglomerate?

(Classical reference in headline.)