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Vertical Mergers and the MFN Thicket in Television

BY | August 17, 2018

By Erik Hovenkamp & Neel U. Sukhatme –  Increasingly, cable and satellite TV services (known as “MVPDs”) seek to acquire upstream programming creators, as illustrated by AT&T’s recent merger with…

By Erik Hovenkamp & Neel U. Sukhatme – 

Increasingly, cable and satellite TV services (known as “MVPDs”) seek to acquire upstream programming creators, as illustrated by AT&T’s recent merger with Time-Warner. At the same time, the pay-TV industry is rife with most-favored nation (“MFN”) agreements, which can sharply constrict the competitive process. The most problematic variety, so-called “unconditional” MFNs, raise serious antitrust concerns, as they may forestall

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