WASHINGTON, D.C.—A U.S. District Court has rejected, in absolutely no uncertain terms, the U.S. Justice Department’s attempt to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. In a new article published by Broadcast & Cable, Womble Bond Dickinson telecom attorneys Mark Palchick and Marty Stern write that the court’s decision is an indicator of where the video programming industry is headed and how vertical combinations are viewed under antitrust theory.
In the article, Palchick and Stern note that the government failed to prove any net harm from the merger to consumers, according to the ruling, while conceding at least $350 million in merger-related consumer benefits.
“Clearly, according to the judge, the market is shifting away from multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) competition and the traditional cable and broadcast advertising markets based on linear, live programming and gross eyeballs to a market focused on data-driven targeted advertising, driving data usage through subscriber video consumption, and on the competition between wireline and wireless providers to be the broadband delivery method of choice,” Palchick and Stern write.
Mark Palchick has been an attorney in the communications field since 1975. He is experienced in matters relating to the domestic and international cable industry, international copyright, negotiations of program affiliation agreements, E-rate funding, pole attachment matters, interconnection agreements between private carriers and other FCC regulatory matters. In 2013 he was honored by the Cable Television Industry and inducted into the Cable Pioneers.
Marty Stern provides legal and strategic counsel on regulatory, policy and commercial matters to telecommunications, information technology and media firms, including network operators, programmers, and technology companies, in the United States and globally. He also develops and executes regulatory and legislative strategies, including through trade associations and the formation and implementation of industry coalitions, and engages in associated advocacy.