Divestiture in Reverse

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The recent court ruling which allowed AT&T to acquire Time Warner for a cool $85 billion was not just a blow to the U.S. Department of Justice, but it is also likely to encourage a run of similar deals that will concentrate more control over networks, content, and distribution in the hands of an ever-shrinking number of super carriers.
Comcast, for instance, is currently in hot pursuit of the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, as well as forming a partnership with Charter that could eventually result in a more formal union. Disney is also in the running for Fox.
These kinds of mega-consolidations, of course, have been going on for years and have created, and will continue to foster, a system of reverse divestiture. While not resulting in an old time AT&T-Bell System “monopoly,” the current acquisition and merger fever will nevertheless produce a relatively few giant companies having immense power over cellular, cable TV, internet, programming, social media and other key portions of the communications landscape.
Whether all of this will be good for innovation, the creation of new services and technologies, competitive prices, more choices, and increased customer satisfaction, is unknown. But it seems evident that we will have even more consolidation in the future.