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DOJ Suing to Stop the AT&T/Time Warner Merger

2017 November 21
by Ian Welsh

Perhaps Trump is doing this for petty reasons, but this is a good thing. Media is absurdly over-concentrated already, and should not be more so.

The only thing that would better would be a law straight up forbidding media companies to grow beyond a certain size, and forcefully breaking the firms back down to that size.

Of course, Trump’s administration doesn’t want that. The FCC is removing restrictions on ownership controls in local markets, for example.

Nonetheless, this is a good news, and we can hope that in time it will be seen to be the start of a new wave of anti-trust cases and law. The US, and the world, needs few things more desperately.

23 Responses
  1. Willy permalink
    November 21, 2017

    Maybe one fake news outfit plus another fake news outfit, makes a double fake news outfit, and double fake news is like, really really bad. A fuller explanation of concentrated media and corporate power might be too much for Trump to handle. Times being what they are, I guess we’ll have to take what we can get.

  2. Ché Pasa permalink
    November 21, 2017

    Wouldn’t that be nice, but by now I’m sure you’re wise enough to understand that’s not how politics and the (In)Justice Department works. What will come of this anti-trust suit is anybody’s guess — there are, after all, other interests involved. But the idea that this is the start of a wave of anti-trust suits that will undo media consolidation is rather silly. Even if it were, what makes you think those suits would be anything but targeted efforts to smear, disorient and disable media opposition to Trump and the current regime?

    Is that what you want?

  3. November 21, 2017

    So ….
    … you’re against the concept of “one size fits all” and “one voice speaks for all” I take it.
    Are you hinting at “diversity in viewpoint” and “variety in entertainment”?
    What would ever become of social/political correctness in such an “open range” environment?

  4. November 21, 2017

    “Trump’s approval of the arrests carried out by MBS is based on a number of factors. The first involves the investments in the economy that will be coming America’s way. The other, certainly less known, concerns the subterranean battle that has been occurring between the Western elites for months. Many of Clinton’s top money sources are billionaires arrested by MBS, with stock options in various major banks, insurance companies, publishing groups, and American television groups, all openly anti-Trump. In this sense, the continuation of Trump’s fight with a portion of the elite can be seen with the halting of the merger of AT&T and Time Warner involving CNN.”

  5. realitychecker permalink
    November 21, 2017

    LOL The NYT on its front page had to admit that this is a departure from the wide-open merger policy of Obama.

    IOW, the ‘good guys’ let the corps run wild, bad Trump is departing from that policy.

    Pass the Alka-Seltzer, boys. These are tough times for Democrats.

    Not gonna make any jokes about sex harrassment claims against all the ‘good lefties’ out there. The jokes do write themselves, however.

    This may be the revolution we have all been waiting for./s

  6. Willy permalink
    November 21, 2017

    I have a dream, that one day, politicians shall be judged not by the color of their flags, but by the lack of groping from their grubby little hands…

  7. StewartM permalink
    November 21, 2017

    Ian, Trump is being highly selective in his anti-trust policies. AT&T/Time Warner is being nixed, yeah, but Sinclair (favorable coverage of Trump) gets the green light.

  8. Peter permalink
    November 21, 2017


    That 21 wire site is a clever new outreach platform for the Supreme Leader and the Axis of Resistance. The alternate reality propaganda they parrot is consistent with Russian/Syrian and Hezbollah storylines.

    Connecting the fantasy about MBS arresting Trump’s enemies and Hariri being a Saudi prisoner with the merger of AT&T and Time Warner may seem clever, at least to useful idiots.

  9. November 21, 2017

    Drumpf uck isn’t exactly batting a thousand with lawsuits right now. I don’t see how the DoJ can stop it.

  10. Greg Rose permalink
    November 21, 2017

    I think it’s naive to think that this will be the start of any trust busting. The only trust busting we’ll see are politically motivated ones like this. Trump’s buddies and supporters will be able to consolidate and monopolize as they please.

    Not that it was any better before. Anti-trust actions haven’t had much traction since the Reagan era.

  11. Charlie permalink
    November 21, 2017

    Trump has had his hands in anti-trust. Though he didn’t win, his trade commission was pushing pretty hard against the Walgreens-Rite Aid merger. But I agree that he hasn’t had any sort of “winning” on this, and that it is selective.

    Watch the banks during the next downturn. If he doesn’t push against further consolidation, then we will know where his “trustbusting” lies.

  12. Hugh permalink
    November 22, 2017

    This is churn among the kleptocrats. We should all know by now that Trump does not do policy. Occasionally, it may appear that he is doing the right thing, but it always turns out it’s for the wrong reasons. And it never lasts, often getting contradicted by something else Trump does or says within days, hours, minutes, seconds, immediately.

    Corporate consolidation is mostly about the creation of anti-competitive monopolies and oligopolies which deliver increasingly fewer, poorer quality products at higher prices. Competitiveness only gets invoked when an excuse is needed to cut workers’ wages and benefits.

  13. wendy davis permalink
    November 22, 2017

    ‘Bayer-Monsanto: Critics Push DOJ to Reject Merger, 1 Mln Signatures – DTN’

    “Combined, Bayer and Monsanto would be the world’s largest integrated pesticides and seeds company, the EU noted in August when it began vetting the merger. At the time, the EU listed several preliminary concerns about market impacts.
    Multiple farm groups have written the Department of Justice over the past year expressing concerns about the merger as well.
    Makan Delrahim, who heads the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice, was confirmed in late September. The Trump administration has not made any official comments about the Bayer-Monsanto merger.”

    think of the price-fixing monopoly potential and lobbying clout for glyphosate, 2-4D, and genetically modified seeds and other products if the merger goes thru! but MAGA! jobs, jobs jobs! likely the only hope is that the EU will prevent it, but they’ve ‘reset’ the clock on a decision twice already, iirc.

  14. Peter permalink
    November 22, 2017


    The EU approved the sale of Syngenta to China Cem so I doubt they will balk at a deal that strengthens Europe’s position in this new order. The three big chem/seed houses will compete around the world while being based in the US, Europe and China.

    The Chnese now have modern ag tools to improve their lagging crop yields while spreading their influence and assistance to some of their foreign suppliers. This is a critical move by them because their people are demanding meat on their tables and that demand will increase, they already eat half of the pork produced in the world.

    This is probably the last big consolidation in world ag and is paving the way towards feeding 10 billion people with surpluses. I don’t think Bayer will be as easy a target for activists as Monsanto was so they may have to target Dow/DuPont now.

    The FAO reported another bumper world grain crop setting new production records especially in Russia and the US with no starvation or famine anywhere in the world, only more surplus.

    Better farming practicies and expansion are part of the reason for these improving yields but global greening seems to be helping also. NASA reported on their world surface scans comparing conditions over the last thirty years. They showed a visible increase in vegetation around the world estimated at 14% while a more acccurate trapped gas analysis in Antarctica showes a 30% increase.

    This is directly correlated with increased CO2 in the atmosphere fertilizing plants along with the moderate warming globally. The amazing detail that was discovered was that the plants were using this extra CO2 to expand without increasing their water use. This is especially improtant in semi-arid areas where greening is increasing.

  15. Willy permalink
    November 23, 2017

    Monsanto appreciates the cherry picking. For example, an increase in CO2 intake correlates with an increase in vulnerabilities to pests. There are too many credible sources to cite which demonstrate that global warming is not /will not be good for agricultural yields. Of course, with everybody now being some form of snowflake wholly subservient to fake news, no person or institution is to be trusted anymore. So who cites sources anymore?

  16. wendy davis permalink
    November 23, 2017

    you may be correct about the EU, but meanwhile, herr T’s delrahim is sooo silent. i’ve seen you quote those greening figures, they sound specious to me. thank the gods that the russians have rejected gmo seeds and products. but as far as ‘efficient tools’ and yields, i’ll hand you over to colin todhunter, UK. yeah, no need to respond, i know your polemics on this stuff only too well, peter. (smile)

    without the idiocy of ‘green capitalism’, it wouldn’t have had to be this way.

  17. Willy permalink
    November 24, 2017

    Peter, metamars, Bliz and their ilk… different apparent characters but always the same strategy. They try to turn a normal healthy skepticism into confusion about scientific authority. This becomes obvious when they repeatedly resort to namecalling, gaslighting and shaming instead of simply citing credible sources which support their case.

    It’s mindfuckery, as RC used to call it, although he resorts to the same thing.

  18. Peter permalink
    November 24, 2017

    When I see a word like specious used to describe a NASA survey I wonder if I’m seeing CD in action. I may disagree with some of their opinions and interpretations of climate data but I don’t think anyone has proven their reports are anything but facts.

    If you are making a conscious choice to reject global greening and embrace the dark fantasies of people like Commie Todhunter and other social engineers there is nothing I can do about it. He gets paid well for his anti-human polemics while I’m just trying to counter the doom and gloom with a little reality.

    The Russians don’t need GMO for their grain crops and they are making a market driven choice to attract the affluent European consumer who can afford the premium prices charged for organic and non-GMO produce. What they need and are counting on to drive their grain export dominance is more global warming to open up vast tracts of their eastern land for farming. Even if the huge amount of CO2 their oil and gas exports produce don’t produce much GW it will help GG.

  19. realitychecker permalink
    November 24, 2017

    Willy, thank Dog nobody depends on your ‘clear thinking’ (LMAO) for guidance.

  20. Willy permalink
    November 24, 2017

    And nobody cares about your revolution without a plan.

  21. realitychecker permalink
    November 24, 2017

    Congratulations on your successful lobotomy, Willy.


  22. November 24, 2017

    There are two doors, Peter. Behind Door Number One is a completely sealed room, with a regular, gasoline-fueled car. Behind Door Number Two is an identical, completely sealed room, with an electric car. Both engines are running full blast.

    Pick a door to open, and enter the room and shut the door behind you. You have to stay in the room you choose for one hour. You cannot turn off the engine. You do not get a gas mask.

    Choose wisely.

    “Global greening”, rolling on the floor laughing my rosy red ass off.

  23. Peter permalink
    November 26, 2017

    The Beer Bear wants to be the doofus science guy for the slightly retarded Warmer demographic, he probably wears a bow tie. He may be pleading for help or thinking of sucking an exhaust pipe because his beer is tainted with that bubbly CO2 polution.

    He must be suffering from some CO poisoning from his nutty experiment or he would ubderstand the simple fact that the electric car is mostly fueled from burning coal and that running an electric car full blast for too long might make it burst into flames.

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