Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Saturday, April 30, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Nation and World
6/30/2014 2:25:00 PM
Media giants take turns going on consolidation buying sprees
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — In the media industry — or, as is the case here, the multimedia industry — the question continues to be asked: How big is too big?

The telecom giants' answers seem to be: Not big enough yet.

Comcast, which bought NBC Universal a few years ago, is already the nation's largest cable TV provider. Earlier this year, it declared its intent to buy Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable TV provider, for $45 billion.

AT&T, which is thought of primarily as a phone company -- its acronym once stood for American Telephone & Telegraph -- seems to be playing catch-up when it announced it would buy DirecTV, the United States' largest satellite TV operator, for $49 billion.

But what is the interest of the Catholic Church in this?

The church has long maintained that the bigger media giants get, the more likely smaller voices will be muted. These voices can't afford to pay the big fees that the big boys demand for carrying programs on their cable systems. And these voices include religious voices, including that of the church. But other voices not in the mainstream may find themselves on the outside looking in as well.

Comcast has taken an aggressive stance in defending its proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable, saying that the two companies don't compete in any area of the United States.

That is true as far as it goes. Territories across the United States were carved up long ago, as municipalities awarded exclusivity to franchises with the proviso that they accept regulation as a public utility akin to the gas or electric company.

But big players bought out smaller cable companies and then started swapping territories with other major players to gain significant concentrations in metropolitan areas.

AT&T has argued that its U-verse TV service has been a money-loser and that it would gain efficiencies of scale with the DirecTV purchase.

Not that customers' bills would go down, or anything radical like that. Maybe slow the rate of increase, according to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who says AT&T will hold the line on DirecTV costs for three years. Comcast didn't promise any rate reductions when it made its Time Warner Cable bid.

AT&T also maintains that it needs to bulk up to be able to compete effectively with an enlarged Comcast. AT&T had gotten stung four years ago when its planned purchase of T-Mobile was nixed by the federal government over antitrust concerns.

However, each buyer is waving a carrot to federal regulators in hoping their proposed purchases pass muster.

Comcast says it will abide by federal net neutrality regulations through 2018; in short, net neutrality is the concept that all traffic that goes through the Internet is treated equally, which is something the U.S. bishops have long supported. These were the same regulations that were struck down earlier this year by a court.

AT&T promises that, despite the DirecTV price tag, it will save enough money that it will be to bring Internet service to 15 million new households within four years, many of them in rural areas.

Some of those concerns resurfaced June 26 during a Senate committee hearing on the AT&T-DirecTV merger; there was less concern voiced at a House committee hearing the same day.

AT&T is "recycling the claims it has made in attempts to gain approval for several mergers before this one," said Matt Wood, policy director for the Free Press Action Fund, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. "AT&T never pauses to explain adequately whether it fulfilled those earlier promises, or if it did, how its new assurances do anything to enlarge its prior commitments."

The combined company will have more power to discriminate against competitors' services -- exactly what strong net neutrality rules prevent, according to John Bergmayer, senior staff attorney for Public Knowledge, another media think tank, in his own testimony before the panel.

Keep in mind the humbler origins of these two behemoths.

AT&T, aka Ma Bell, had its local phone service in 1984 spun off into six regional companies -- the Baby Bells -- as part of a court-ordered breakup of its monopoly. One of those was Southwestern Bell, which later changed its name to SBC. In time, the baby devoured its mother, AT&T, and took on its name.

And Comcast? Cable TV was a diversification move for the Roberts family, which forecast trouble on the horizon for its belt-making business with the introduction of Sansabelt slacks.

So now the issue before the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department is whether giants' promises outweigh the lessened competition.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved