Category Archives: Media Ownership

Mergers, diversity of ownership, and multiple perspectives.

DirecTV Sued For Anti-Competitive Collusion

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The Department of Justice filed suit against DirecTV (commonly known as AT&T after the recent merger) for anti-competitive collusion in violation of antitrust law.

The suit comes as DirecTV parent corporation AT&T has petitioned the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission for another mega-merger with Time-Warner’s content division. Continue reading DirecTV Sued For Anti-Competitive Collusion

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PUC Needs Consumer Advocates: Reappoint Sandoval

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Update:  Sadly, Catherine was not re-nominated by Governor Jerry Brown. A big loss for California’s consumers.

Catherine Sandoval is one of the most qualified commissioners to ever serve on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The first person of Latino descent to serve on the agency in its 100-year history, she has been a determined public interest advocate and fighter for real people against the massive corporate interests the agency regulates.
Continue reading PUC Needs Consumer Advocates: Reappoint Sandoval

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Charter Deal Conditions Could Run Gamut From MFN Clauses to Rate Hike Caps

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Communications Daily – August 17 2015

Charter Communications likely has headed off many broadband-related merger conditions by addressing them early on, experts said. But multiple broadband and cable matters likely will be brought up by and before regulators as Charter seeks approval to buy Bright House Networks and Time Warner Cable,they said. Charter agreed “from the get-go” to some of the most obvious potential conditions—net neutrality and discounted broadband offerings to low-income populations—said Barry Orton, telecom professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That, plus that Charter, TWC and BHN don’t share a “bully” reputation with Comcast based on complaints about strong-arm tactics, indicates the deals could have a relatively easy time winning approval, especially compared with Comcast’s aborted attempt to buy TWC, industry officials said. Continue reading Charter Deal Conditions Could Run Gamut From MFN Clauses to Rate Hike Caps

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Mergers Lock In The Status Quo

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Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on February 19th, 2014
Mag-Net Blog

The San Francisco Bay Area is often seen across the country as a blue outpost and a place where liberal ideas predominate. This image is especially widespread in media reports which emphasize cultural and political innovations. But the local media system which indulges in the self-congratulatory blather is itself a retrograde example of corporate consolidation and dominance. More like Texas than Vermont, if you like.

If the purpose of media systems is to connect and to exchange information, then Bay Area communication is about as controlled by big media corporations as the US is dependent on imported oil. The statistics are terrifying: Continue reading Mergers Lock In The Status Quo

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KCSM-TV Update

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Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on July 29th, 2014

Media Alliance has been involved with the sale/liquidation of the 5th largest public television station in California, KCSM-TV, headquartered at the College of San Mateo for 50 years, for several years. Since 2011, we’ve been following the station’s fate through two sale processes into the final May 2014 decision, when the trustees of the San Mateo Community College District signed on the dotted line with a fully-owned subsidiary of hedge firm the Blackstone Group to sell off the station’s spectrum to wireless companies in a spectrum auction.

On the evening the final decision was made in May of 2013, the trustees rushed to a vote and called private security over concerns about disruptions to the meeting by a few community advocates who came to the meeting to try to change the board’s mind – including MA executive director Tracy Rosenberg, former KRON host Henry Tenenbaum, KAXT owner Ravi Kaipur and patent attorney and media activist Pat Reilly. Continue reading KCSM-TV Update

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Diversity in Television: An FCC Principle Now Being Reconsidered

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An op-ed on the FCC review of retransmission rules and their potentially destructive impact on low-income audiences whose access to pay TV and high-speed broadband is limited due to affordability issues.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on
Huffington Post

A founding principle of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is protecting the public interest in communications – in television, radio, internet and new emerging mediums. In a country of increasing diversity, the public interest is not a “one size fits all” proposition. In the United States of 2016, the public interest must serve a Spanish-speaking mother in Los Angeles as well as it serves a rural rancher in South Dakota or a millennial urbanite in Brooklyn.

As an industry, broadcast television has long served the largest number of Americans with its mass, free, over-the-air broadcasts. Continue reading Diversity in Television: An FCC Principle Now Being Reconsidered

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Why The Death Of Comcast-Time Warner Merger Won’t Help Consumers

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by Peter Lee  San Francisco Chronicle  April 29 2015

Credit to the Federal Communications Commission for doing its job — about 20 years too late.

Due to opposition from the FCC and U.S. Department of Justice, Comcast dropped its proposed $45 billion bid to purchase Time Warner Cable on Friday, preventing two of the nation’s least-popular companies from becoming one enormously unpopular mega-company.

For consumers, the failed merger represents something of a muted victory. The FCC’s record on protecting consumers has been beyond abysmal since the federal government deregulated the telecom industry in the mid-1990s, but Friday’s decision shows the agency is still, apparently, willing to draw the line somewhere.

Continue reading Why The Death Of Comcast-Time Warner Merger Won’t Help Consumers

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