Megan Sieffert

Document Type



The intersecting regulations of agencies, stemming from the duties of the FCC, the FTC, and the DOJ to protect competition and television consumers, have been innovative in permitting two goals. First, allowing companies to pursue these integrations and, second, placing conditions on integrations to prevent potential harms that could come from developing media giants. As the market continues to consolidate, with companies having more access to the ability to distribute through alternative middlemen, and as they have the opportunity to gain popularity through social media networks and word of mouth, the healthy competition seen in the former entertainment industry is likely to be sustained. While the structural elements of the industry will likely remain the same, merely the faces will change. Instead of viewing a DVD or VHS, consumers will log onto online streaming websites. And, instead of successful products coming from independent production studios, even the garage director will have the opportunity to produce popular content. Summarily, vertical integration is merely a method for the traces of former companies to survive and a method for them to change with the times. Because they have the resources to develop the Internet networks, they are able to fit into the market, and, because they can purchase content from others using those revenues, it is likely that the companies will either change their business models or they will lose their production sides, as has been seen with the AOL/Timer Warner merger and the Hughes Electronics Corporation/News Corporation transaction. Where a few of the benefits and harms of these integrations have been elaborated here, the majority of the effects have yet to be seen.