Near the one-year anniversary of Discovery and AT&T’s WarnerMedia merger, four Democrats in Congress have asked the Department of Justice to cancel the deal.
In a letter to the Justice Department’s counsel, lawyers say the merger allowed Warner Bros. The finding of “potentially anticompetitive adoption” has moved numerous layoffs and reduced programming options for consumers. They say that “the current competition in the media and entertainment industry is insufficient.”
Months ago, the $43 billion deal was approved by 30 members of Congress warning intermediate in the letter of December 2021 as a result of the vacuum of competition that would harm workers and consumers. Among the concerns raised was that it could dampen the “financial opportunity of workers” over various programming, which became a common criticism after the company canned its $90 million HBO Max movie. Batgirlthe first DC Latin film, they write as a tribute.
The film found the studio $3.5 billion in cost-savings after the company shed more than $50 billion due to a debt merger. WBD took a content and development write-off of $2.8 billion to $3.5 billion, accounting for an additional charge of $1 billion more than expected. While the securities filing did not indicate what the increased losses would be, the company said in previous weeks that it had canceled or withdrawn from its services several titles that were based on a bundle of ad-discontinued services.
Lawyers call it “product cancellations” that end with the consumer and the choice of the employee, including cancellation Batgirlwhich was completely in procrastination; Chubby Paralipomenon Demimondeand The Time Traveler’s Wife. The group also cites WBD in Zamora’s abrupt development whistle whistle After the “competitive control process with multiple issues.”
“The loss of content creators whose projects are canceled in advanced development and post-production cannot be reversed,” he reads. April 7 letter Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Rep. David Cicilline, D.I., and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. “Such cancellations tarnish these shows, making them less appealing and marketable to other customers — users will likely never see the shows purchased by WBD then canceled. The WBD de facto de facto practice of ‘capture and kill’ has ended the election.
Antitrust laws seek to promote innovation, choice, and product variety. One consideration of whether a deal is approved is if it causes the company to “withdraw a product that a significant number of customers like very much,” according to DOJ and FTC merger guidelines. Because of the reduction in competition due to the merger, lawyers argue that WBD would be unpopular to move without hurting the bottom line.
To encourage cost-cutting measures, WBD in March rolled out its executive compensation package, to provide top executives with bonuses in the form of performance units based on their success in generating cash and reducing debt. WBD board chairman Samuel A. Di Piazza Jr. said in a statement to Hollywood actor at a time when change is necessary to “key near-term financial goals of increased free cash flow and reduced leverage.” CEO David Zaslav’s works on restricted stock, which have a target value of $12 million, could see that price double if they deliver on cash efforts. His salary for 2022 is about $39.3 million, mostly coming from cash worth $21 million.
WBD did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the letter’s lawyers.
The letter also points to layoffs to realize the company’s high cost-saving targets. WBD closed CNN+ less than a month ago as it revised its streaming strategy after spending nearly $300 million on the service, affecting an estimated 350 employees. Four months later, Roncus laid off another 400 workers on top of another 100 employees on its sales side in another cost-cutting effort related to the merger.
The agreement allowed the company to take “aggressive policies that hurt workers and creatives in the media and entertainment industry, while eliminating training competition forces to give workers the freedom to change jobs or negotiate better pay and working conditions,” the letter said. reads
While monopoly enforcers have historically focused only on consumer harm when considering mergers, they have also turned to considering labor effects. The Justice Department last year blocked Paramount Global from spinning off its Simon & Schuster publishing unit to Penguin Random House after convincing a judge that the merger could harm workers by giving the new entity a leg up on how much authors are paid for their work. On April 3, the agency brought a lawsuit against Activity and decided to impose rules that unlawfully restricted the competition of players in two federal protections and suppressed wages.
Antitrust agencies say they approve mergers to be reviewed when there is evidence of anticompetitive effects on relevant markets. The Federal Trade Commission has obtained an explanation for Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram. The Department of Justice is seeking to do the same with Google’s acquisitions of AdMeld and DoubleClick due to the company’s alleged monopoly in online advertising.
The media industry has seen new levels of horizontal and vertical consolidation in the past 12 years. That includes Comcast and NBCUniversal (2011); AT&T and DirecTV (2015); Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House (2016); AT&T and Time Warner (2018); and Disney and Fox (2018). WBD was the result of AT&T’s acquisition of WanerMedia after the telecom giant’s bet on the media business failed.
Lawyers say “New ownership of WBD is digging up iconic American studios.”