High-Stakes Ruling Awaited On AT&T-Time Warner Merger

Saudi Gazette cited Clyde Wayne Crews on the inadequacy of government for responding to growing competition against traditional media outlets, which has been exacerbated by digital technology and mass communications.        

Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute said the government’s case ignores the technology which is rapidly changing the media sector.

“Compare today to the 50s or 60s when we had three television stations and you had one AT&T that was, then, protected by government monopoly,” Crews said. “Antitrust is like a subsidy from government for companies opposing someone else’s transaction. It works like protectionism.”

The ruling comes with other big mergers awaiting review. Walt Disney Co. is seeking to buy major film and television operations of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, which would consolidate two big Hollywood studios. But the big cable and media group Comcast is expected to offer a higher bid.

No. 3 wireless carrier T-Mobile, meanwhile, is seeking a tie-up with No. 4 Sprint. The trial is the first in decades involving a “vertical” merger of companies that don’t have overlapping operations but which operate in the same sector.     

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