AT&T/DirecTV: Even More Competition in the Video Marketplace
How about the government monopoly that the feds have over us?
Check it out:
Sunday’s announcement that AT&T had signed a $49 billion deal to acquire satellite video company DirecTV received a predictable reaction from many quarters in Washington. “The industry needs more competition, not more mergers,” said John Bergmayer of Public Knowledge, a “pro-consumer” advocacy group.
That tired formulation, however, sets up a false choice. Sometimes a merger can increase competition, not reduce it. And that is exactly what this purchase looks to do.
The TV business is hardly starved of competition as it is. Only a few decades ago, American viewers had a choice of exactly three national networks. Since then, that choice has ballooned – most recently by the influx of new online distributors, ranging from Netflix to Apple TV to Amazon. These distributors are remaking the U.S. TV market, knocking down the old television order like – you guessed it – a “House of Cards.”