In Time’s May 28, 2021 article “Why Amazon’s MGM Purchase Could Put the Company in Washington’s Crosshairs,” AAI President Diana Moss explains that creating a more powerful buyer of content through the Amazon-MGM deal could have adverse effects on writers.
From the article:
This isn’t the only consolidation happening in the entertainment space. AT&T recently announced that it would spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery Inc. in a $43 billion deal. Too many of these consolidations could eventually decrease the quality of content for consumers and the competitiveness of rates for the content creators, says Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute. “All the writers are now dealing with evermore powerful buyers of their content,” she says. “That will be bad for competition and for consumers. So any antitrust investigation would have to look at that effect on writers and creators and also on the consumer side.”
All of which serves as “a reminder of why we need to fund our antitrust agencies so they can take on investigations of multi-billion dollar deals,” Sen. Klobuchar said in a statement. “Our government cannot ensure major corporations are playing by the rules if enforcement agencies are chronically underfunded.” National antitrust laws that oversee mergers and acquisitions like these haven’t been revised in earnest since laws were passed between the late 1800s and early 1900s in response to trusts like Standard Oil Company and the American Tobacco Company gaining near-total control over their respective commodities, and since the 1970s and 1980s, courts have narrowed their scope by centering mergers’ effects on consumer welfare as the main antitrust policy goal.