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AT&T Buys Time Warner For $85B. Is The Mass Media Consolidating? ( 132

Though regulators may not agree, "Time Warner and AT&T reps claim this is necessary just to compete," warns Mr D from 63. Reuters reports: The tie-up of AT&T Inc and Time Warner Inc, bringing together one of the country's largest wireless and pay TV providers and cable networks like HBO, CNN and TBS, could kick off a new round of industry consolidation amid massive changes in how people watch TV... Media content companies are having an increasingly difficult time as standalone entities, creating an opportunity for telecom, satellite and cable providers to make acquisitions, analysts say. Media firms face pressure to access distribution as more younger viewers cut their cable cords and watch their favorite shows on mobile devices. Distribution companies, meanwhile, see acquiring content as a way to diversify revenue.
The deal reflects "big changes in consumption of video particularly among millennials," according to one former FCC commissioner, and the article also reports that the deal "will face serious opposition." Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey warned "we need more competition, not more consolidation... Less competition has historically resulted in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers..." And in a Saturday speech, Donald Trump called it " an example of the power structure I'm fighting...too much concentration of power in the hands of too few."
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AT&T Buys Time Warner For $85B. Is The Mass Media Consolidating?

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  • Cartel socialism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xtronics ( 259660 ) on Sunday October 23, 2016 @12:39PM (#53134901) Homepage

    This is a good move by AT&Fee - makes it easier to bribe the correct political elite to keep smaller companies from competing.

    Easier than providing better service if people have less options.

    • AT&T means American Telephone and Telegraph. Now they can change it to mean American Telephone and Television. Finally AT&T can stand for something that isn't ridiculously out of date.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        What, it's not Assholes, Terriorists, & Trannys?

      • AT&T means American Telephone and Telegraph. Now they can change it to mean American Telephone and Television. Finally AT&T can stand for something that isn't ridiculously out of date.

        Well, traditional telephone (landline) and television are going to be obsolete too quite soon. If they want a future-proof name then they should change it to American mobile Telephone & InTernet :-P

      • The only thing AT&T stands for is fucking over their customers.

      • AT&T is really Southwestern Bell. When SWB acquired AT&T they chose that moniker because it had better name recognition.

        Bigger is never better for the consumer. Take a look at consolidated airlines, banks, grocery chains. It means fewer choices and less price competition.

    • Indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Sunday October 23, 2016 @01:30PM (#53135075)

      One of many issues to solve corruption in the country is to de-monopolize the media. When they started letting moguls buy out huge chunks of media about 30 years ago we were warned that this would happen. Now you have actors and actresses repeating talking points and the AP is the single source of most "news". Investigative journalism has become a dangerous vigilante action instead of "Press" as it was defined and discussed at the time of the founding of the USA.

      Lots of problems to work on in this country, and the abuse of monopoly is one.

    • with socialism []? Like Bernie Sander's said, words have meaning. [] Pull your head out of your (or maybe Vlad Putin's if you're one of those Russian trolls) ass.
  • Trump has already said he will oppose the merger and even wants too undo the Comcast Universal merger, though I doubt he can.

    Hillary OTOH is waiting to see how much AT&T will cough up.

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Sunday October 23, 2016 @01:00PM (#53134981)

      I loved the dinner the other night where Trump and Clinton roasted each other. I thought the best line was the one where he said he enjoyed meeting the leaders of her campaign team Then he began pointing out the heads of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and the New York Times. Even the people that hated him laughed loudly.

      • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Sunday October 23, 2016 @01:20PM (#53135045)
        Humor works best when there is truth behind it.
      • The pivoted-to-paranoia Trump is quick to forget that it was the media who made him a thing to begin with. Now that it's obvious that he can't compete he's adding them to his list of everyone else that he wants to blame for his shortcomings.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Paranoia? He straight up called out all the 1% types there who had turned on him because they only care about team colors, not any sort of values at all.

          Hillary's team does hate Catholics, making it doubly ironic for her to be at a Catholic charity event. You can read all about it in the Podesta emails. At least, assuming you don't believe the CNN lie that only the media is allowed to look.

          • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

            I hope you haven't been reading those e-mails. Those are stolen and that makes you an accessory after the fact. Don't wait for the FBI to batter your door down, go turn yourself in.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I know, right? Reporting the things he says and does. It's like they are /trying/ to destroy him.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          While not reporting the things she's said []. Both are terrible candidates. The only chance Hillary had was for the DNC to help her beat Sanders, the media willing to act as shills, and a general election opponent as repugnant as Trump.

          captcha: tampers

    • Yes,Trump has come out against this saying "As an example of the power structure I'm fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,"

      Hillary on the other hand will not come out against it, as she wants as many powerful friends in high places as she can get.
  • by ddillman ( 267710 ) <dgdillman@gmail. c o m> on Sunday October 23, 2016 @01:29PM (#53135073) Journal
    What a dumb question. The mass media have been consolidating for DECADES.
  • Good thing TW cable isn't involved.. they were too busy being bought by Charter!
  • Future (Score:4, Funny)

    by BlackPignouf ( 1017012 ) on Sunday October 23, 2016 @01:54PM (#53135185)

    In 10 years : WalmartGoogleExxonAppleGoldman buys AT&TimeWarnerGeneralElectricsVerizon for $85T

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In 10 years : WalmartGoogleExxonAppleGoldman buys AT&TimeWarnerGeneralElectricsVerizon for $85T

      In 10 years : WalmartGoogleExxonAppleGoldman buys AT&TimeWarnerGeneralElectricsVerizon for $85T

      In 10 years : WalmartGoogleExxonAppleGoldman buys AT&TimeWarnerGeneralElectricsVerizon for $85T

      That should be called: WalmartExxonGoogleAppleGoldman, or WEGAG.

    • Buy n' Large []

      BnL will take care of all your sociopolitical needs as well as the material ones.

      This is the logical conclusion of today's course -- the overt, out-of-the-closet marriage between Industry and Government.

  • this is the inevitable consequence of out of control wealth inequality. When you let the rich have all the money they've got very little left to spend it on besides conquest. This is how it was for humanity for thousands of years. The last 100 or so were a fluke brought on by the rapid advance of technology. Stop it now or you'll never see that 'fluke' again.
    • by DMJC ( 682799 ) on Sunday October 23, 2016 @03:54PM (#53135687)
      No the last 100 years were a fluke brought on by Two World Wars and a Great Depression which blew away all the wealth of the world and reset the system to a near 0 state. All the businesses and investments in Europe and Asia were toast. Australia was still an early society which hadn't matured/developed into a class structure system. The United States had been crippled by the Great Depression which wiped out most of the Elite's wealth leaving only a few wealthy people. The resulting economic boom from rebuilding from a 0 state was always going to be temporary without strong government intervention/market protections and the US completely dropped the ball on that. Most Western countries have completely lost the plot with wealth inequality and it's back to business as usual.
      • because of tech. Airplanes and Machine Guns and Bombs and such. A good chuck of the reasons [] for the Great Depression were tech, especially when you strip away the esoteric monetary policy explanations.

        Root cause is still tech changes happening too fast for society to adjust. Least as far as I can tell.
    • by khallow ( 566160 )
      You're begging a lot of questions here. The biggest is assuming that wealth inequality is an important metric. I think wealth inequality became a popular metric in the first place because it is something that can always be said to be a problem and thus is an evergreen measure of inequality.

      Notice also that there is no desirable level of wealth inequality. Isn't it kind of odd to have a control system without a set point?

      Finally, why do you think wealth inequality is out of control? The US has been suf
  • I currently have AT&T Uverse for television, and Time Warner for internet. Why not use one or the other for both? Because Time Warner cable is more expensive for my use case (3 receivers) and AT&T Uverse internet is too slow and more expensive than Time Warner internet. If the government approves this, we better get a viable national third party because otherwise we're doomed.
  • When asked about cleaning the facilities where employees work ( the same garbage sits on the floor for years ) or if their workforce will ever get any training for the equipment they maintain, the answer is always the same:

    " It's not in the budget. "

    So they axe the budgets year after year, then complain when no one has any work to do. Oblivious to the fact that a budget is a prequisite for getting anything done when adding or replacing ageing hardware.

    Yet when there are companies to be bought, stadium nami

  • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Sunday October 23, 2016 @09:51PM (#53136811)
  • The world's two worst customer service organizations will merge creating something truly evil. Just say no.

  • This will be approved, and history will show it to have been a very bad thing for consumers. Bigly. Yuge-ly. One of the worst regulatory mistakes ever.

The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa.