Time Warner, Monopolies, and AT&T

By Madeline Marie Ballard

      The streaming war terrifies me. Even though competition is more than healthy for business, it still carries the threat of a monopoly. Disney and AT&T are the catalysts for my recent fear. Disney bought the Fox entertainment network not too long ago, and in addition to all the media Fox has, Disney now owns 60% controlling interest of Hulu. This has been one decision in a series of moves designed to win the streaming wars against Netflix which is the only company out-doing Disney. This isn’t the only takeover attempt by a big company in recent news. The takeover of Time Warner by AT&T is going to the Supreme Court. If AT&T is allowed to continue with their deal, this will be one of the biggest mergers this decade. This is terrifying, as it means that AT&T is expanding vertically while Disney is expanding horizontally. This will inevitably lead to a monopoly if the supreme court doesn’t rule against the AT&T/Time Warner merger. Monopolies are a concern  because businesses tend to get profit crazy when in complete control. Companies can have more expensive products that are cheaper to make when there is little-to-no competition. This tends to lead to ten dollar products costing fifty dollars. It cuts out the need to listen to the consumers and suddenly everything becomes unbalanced in an unhealthy way for both the people and the economy. Right now, we have the government to act as our safety net in these situations. However, only time will tell how strong the material holding that net together is.