Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Competition Policy for the Media Sector

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Maurice Stucke (University of Tennessee Law) and Allen Grunes (Brownstein Hyatt) have some recommendations for the next administration on Competition Policy for the Media Sector.

The recommendations include:

• more empirical analyses of how media markets work,
• that any antitrust policy toward media mergers be in furtherance of, and driven by, a national media policy, as set by Congress. Sole reliance on enforcement by the Federal Communications Commission or federal antitrust agencies has proven to be too ad hoc, too haphazard, and not particularly effective. Aside from political and ideological concerns about lax or zealous antitrust enforcement, conventional antitrust policy is not easy to apply in media markets, and
• a combination of new legislation and more informed antitrust enforcement to: (1) promote, or at least not diminish, the media’s contribution to the marketplace of ideas; (2)have antitrust merger policies complement FCC policy, which together should provide some of the necessary legal frameworks for a vibrant marketplace of ideas; and (3) understand from a 21st Century perspective, all of the values, including non-economic values, such as localism and diversity that are important to preserving a healthy marketplace of ideas. Antitrust will play only one part in implementing the overall media policy.

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