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Happily ever after? Vertical and horizontal mergers in the U.S. media industry

Author

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  • Stöhr, Annika
  • Noskova, Victoriia
  • Kunz-Kaltenhäuser, Philipp
  • Gänßle, Sophia
  • Budzinski, Oliver

Abstract

This paper provides an economic analysis of recent vertical and horizontal mergers in the U.S. industry for audiovisual media content, including the AT&T-Time Warner and the Disney-Fox mergers. Using a theory-driven approach, we examine economic effects of these types of mergers on market competition, focusing on digital media content distribution. In doing so, we address three research questions: (i) Is the current development of analyzing industry with its recent merger activity concerning? (ii) Would vertical or horizontal integration be more preferable for overall welfare and competition in this industry? (iii) What are implications for antitrust policy? We conclude from our analysis that in the already highly horizontally concentrated U.S. market for audiovisual content the process of further vertical integration creates concerns from a competition policy perspective. Moreover, even though horizontal concentration on some of the market stages may be anticompetitive as well, vertical integration is likely to be more harmful. As a consequence, we recommend a stricter approach to vertical merger control in this industry, as well as a more active abuse control against already vertically-integrated media companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Stöhr, Annika & Noskova, Victoriia & Kunz-Kaltenhäuser, Philipp & Gänßle, Sophia & Budzinski, Oliver, 2019. "Happily ever after? Vertical and horizontal mergers in the U.S. media industry," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 126, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuiedp:126
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Budzinski, Oliver & Gänßle, Sophia & Kunz-Kaltenhäuser, Philipp, 2019. "How does online streaming affect antitrust remedies to centralized marketing? The case of European football broadcasting rights," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 128, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    competition policy; antitrust; industrial economics; digitization; media economics; institutional economics; industrial organization; mergers; vertical integration; horizontal integration;

    JEL classification:

    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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