There are so many interesting things about the just-approved Comcast-NBCU merger that it’s hard to know where to begin and where to end.
Both companies are struggling to maintain the buoyancy of their business in the face of several challenges, particularly the threat presented by content-streaming services. But is this really a good reason to get married?
Is a merger of this size in this sector persuasively in the public interest? There are significant questions to do with media ownership diversity and vertical integration that the conditions have addressed, but perhaps not fully resolved.
And is the vision of the merger a chimera? In 2000, two companies – both of whom were “media companies,” but very different kinds of media companies – set sail on a perilous and ultimately disastrous journey. Those companies were named AOL and Time Warner. There are a number of similarites in the Comcast/NBCU union. Has the last decade taught anyone anything?
Lots more to come on these issues!