×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Writers Guild of America West Backs Blocking AT&T-Time Warner Merger

The Writers Guild of America has strongly endorsed the U.S. Department of Justice’s suit to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger.

The lawsuit was filed Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, setting up a potential courtroom showdown.

The WGA West, which represents more than 9,000 members, said it has always opposed the proposed deal because it would undermine competition, restrict consumer access, and raise prices.

The transaction looked to be on its way to government approval just a few months ago, but the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has made it clear in recent weeks that it was prepared to challenge the transaction. They reportedly told AT&T executives that selling Turner Broadcasting or DirecTV could be a possible remedy for their concerns.

Here is the entire WGA West statement:

Writers Guild of America West welcomes action by the U.S. Department of Justice to block the merger between AT&T and Time Warner. As we have stated since this deal was first proposed, the size, scope, and potential harm to both consumers and content creators provide ample reason to block the merger on its merits. The proposed combination of must-have content with vast control over distribution would give the company broad power to undermine competition, restrict access to programming, and raise prices. This merger would result in a media behemoth even larger than the failed Comcast-Time Warner Cable venture, and should be stopped. With reports surfacing each week of other possible media mergers, blocking this deal has only become more critical.”

The WGA East, which represents 4,000 members, issued a similar statement Monday:

“The Writers Guild of America, East agrees with the U.S. Department of Justice that the proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner should be blocked.  The entire media industry has been consolidating for a number of years, with very little interference from the agencies entrusted to preserve competition in the public interest.  The proposed merger would continue that dangerous trend, offering storytellers fewer opportunities to create and distribute content that informs and enlightens viewers.  It would leave the media industry with even fewer gatekeepers – a narrower range of people deciding what people watch.  This is not good for audiences and it’s not good for democracy.”

“Vertical integration can harm consumers and industries.  Concentration of economic power is not in the interests of the American people.  This merger should not go through.”

 

 

 

More Biz

  • Tan FranceUnforgettable Gala, Inside, Los Angeles,

    'Queer Eye' Star Tan France to Host Audiobook Audie Awards

    “Queer Eye” resident style expert Tan France is taking on a slightly different project next month as he hosts the Audie Awards, which honors the best releases and achievements in audiobooks over the past 12 months. The ceremony, which takes place on March 4 in New York, is an annual event organized by the Audio [...]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Shelly Saltman, Former Fox Sports President and Promoter, Dies at 87

    Sheldon “Shelly” Saltman, the sports promoter behind the Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs tennis match and Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon jump, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 87. The original president of Fox Sports, Saltman started his career as a sports announcer before moving to promotions at media companies like the Gillette Cavalcade [...]

  • Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint

    Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint Venture

    Arista Records and Smokepurpp/ Lil Mosey manager Josh Marshall today announced the launch of Mogul Vision Music, a new joint venture label focused on “breaking extraordinary talent and building artist careers through innovative A&R, branding and marketing strategy,” according to the announcement. Based in New York with Marshall (pictured above left, with Massey) as its CEO, the [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Faces Prison, Career Ruin if He Lied About Attack

    Jussie Smollett is facing prison time and the implosion of his career if it turns out he lied about being the target of a hate crime, legal and public relations experts say. “The best thing that Jussie can do is pray and pray a lot,” said Ronn Torossian, founder of 5W Public Relations. “If he [...]

  • Gerrit Meier Variety Strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: Red Bull Practically Invented Branded Entertainment. What's Next?

    With memorable moves like sponsoring Felix Baumgartner’s jump from outer space in 2012 to achieve the world’s farthest ever-parachute drop, Red Bull has been a pioneering force in branded entertainment. While known best for its line of energy drinks, the beverage maker has eschewed traditional marketing for content that blurred the boundaries between advertising and [...]

  • Martin Bandier to Be Honored at

    Martin Bandier to Be Honored at Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony

    Martin Bandier, outgoing chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will be awarded the Visionary Leadership Award at the 50 th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. According to the announcement, the Visionary Leadership Award “acknowledges a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Board [...]

  • Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the

    Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the Red but Reduces Losses

    The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort theme park remained in the red for the fourth straight year, but there are signs of improvement. For the financial year to end-September 2018, HKDL reported $769 million (HK$6 billion) of revenue from 6.7 million visitors, an increase of 8%. Net losses fell from $32 million (HK$291 million) to $6.92 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content