Media Economics: Missed Opportunities, Mischaracterizations

Scott Fitzgerald, Dwayne Winseck

Abstract


A heightened state of flux is now sweeping the media, creative, telecom and internet industries. In the United States Netflix recently, albeit briefly, surpassed Disney as the country’s largest media company by market capitalization. The just completed mega-merger between AT&T and Time Warner and another prospective one between Disney and 21st Century Fox (or potentially Comcast and 21st Century Fox) are presented as countering the threat posed by Netflix, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google to traditional film and TV businesses. Such developments highlight the issues of competition, market power, consumer welfare and industry evolution. In the latter context, visions of heightened competition, technical innovation and interactivity associated with digital distribution have been recurrent themes in industry analysis since before the US Telecommunications Act of 1996.


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