CU Testifies Before Congress Regarding the News Corp./DirecTV Merger
Given the current concentration in the media marketplace, CU believes that the proposed merger between network and cable giant News Corp. and DirecTV, the largest direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service provider, will further increase prices for consumers and decrease the diversity of voices in the media marketplace.
Today, consumers are not receiving the fruits that a competitive cable and satellite marketplace should deliver, and consumers are likely to suffer further harm if antitrust officials do not impose substantial conditions on the proposed deal between News Corp. and DirecTV.
Since passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, cable rates have risen over 50%, and FCC data show that satellite competition is not creating downward pressure on cable rates. Despite the promise for more diversity from new technologies such as the Internet and satellite, a mere five media companies control nearly the same prime time audience shares as the Big Three
networks did 40 years ago. Unfortunately, the market for news production and distribution is becoming more concentrated.
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