Media merger mania: What’s next?

Students in COM3332 (Communication Technology in Contemporary Society), as well as those simply paying attention to the news, have probably heard something about the recently proposed merger of media giants Comcast and Time Warner. That kind of merger, between the nation’s biggest and second-biggest cable companies, would potentially create a super-duper giant conglomerate – one that’s too big even to climb up a beanstalk. Not surprisingly, the deal has attracted controversy, and it’s uncertain whether regulators will approve it.

However, that’s not the end of the story. Mergers like this one have effects for competitors as well. As Sarah Cohen writes in Forbes, other companies in the industry may also seek mergers of their own in an effort to stay afloat. For example, the third-biggest and fourth-biggest cable providers, Cox Communications and Charter Communications, have also been linked to a potential merger. Such a deal is not close to happening anytime soon, and Cox appears to oppose the move. Still, for those keeping an eye on the business of media, it’s an interesting view of the broad effects of conglomeration on the marketplace.


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