AAI and Public Knowledge Team Up to Urge DOJ to Carefully Scrutinize Mergers in Media/Entertainment and Distribution: New Analysis Reveals Multiple Challenges to Competition and the Failure of Past Mergers to Prove Up Benefits

The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) and Public Knowledge (PK) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, urging the acting leadership of the Antitrust Division to consider key issues relating to merger review involving the media/entertainment (“content”) and content distribution markets.

The letter presents in-depth analysis of strategic consolidation, market power, and efficiencies in the content and distribution markets. The letter was penned by both AAI and PK, organizations that have long advocated for strong antitrust enforcement and policies designed to promote competition and protect consumers and workers. The letter provides analysis of the changing competitive landscapes of markets for content and distribution, with direct implications for the review of current and future mergers–most immediately the proposed merger of leading content companies WarnerMedia and Discovery, which is under review at DOJ.

The letter provides important context for major structural and technological transition in the video marketplace and addresses two major issues: (1) competition challenges in the video streaming markets and their implications for antitrust enforcement; and (2) lessons learned from unfounded claims that previous content and distribution mergers would generate significant short-term and long-term efficiencies.