A PYMNTS Company

Writers Guild Calls For “Systemic Changes” Antitrust Practices

 |  December 8, 2021

Saying that the nation’s antitrust practices are “fundamentally broken,” the WGA West is calling on policymakers to adopt “systemic changes” to antitrust laws and enforcement in order to prioritize “the maintenance of competitive market structures for consumers, competitors and new entrants,” while protecting workers’ wages and jobs.

“Media is the poster child for the failures of antitrust enforcement,” says a guild review of five mega mergers in the media and telecommunications industry. “The past 12 years have seen unprecedented levels of vertical and horizontal consolidation among television distributors and film and television producers, with large mergers alone totaling over $400 billion in deal value.”

According to Deadline, the review, titled “Broken Promises: Media Mega Mergers and the Case for Antitrust Reform,” claims that the nation’s antitrust enforcement policies have failed to deliver on promises of lower prices and more choice for customers, and have instead led to “lower wages, higher consumer prices, fewer or worse consumer choices, and less innovation.”

The review says it “provides the evidence of this failure” through an examination of the five largest media and telecommunication mergers of the past decade – Comcast and NBCUniversal (2011); AT&T and DirecTV (2015); AT&T and Time Warner (2018); Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House (2016); and Disney and Fox (2018).

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.