NYC, NEW YORK
Speculation abounds about media mergers. For example, Verizon Communications, Incorporated, the choice of 114 million subscribers and the nation’s largest phone company, opened informal discussions with Charter Communications on a possible merger. Meanwhile AT&T is working on acquiring Time Warner, which owns HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and Warner Brothers. The Federal Communications Commission’s limits on how much market share a single company can own are very wide. For example, a company can own as many television stations as it wants, as long as its stations don’t reach more than 39% of the country’s population. Industry experts are expecting regulations to become more lax under the new FCC chair, Ajit Pai. Mergers are trending because acquiring infrastructure is far less expensive than building it from scratch. Also, the more products a company can bundle, the more likely it is to attract and keep customers and profit from more expensive data plans.