Media ownership: the economics and politics of convergence by Gillian Doyle

By Gillian Doyle

The electronic revolution is remodeling media and communications industries world wide, and media businesses are willing to emerge on the leading edge of an more and more transnational and aggressive communications market. even if, the quantity and scale of mergers and alliances regarding media avid gamers has raised enormous demanding situations for regulators and nation specialists alike.

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Extra info for Media ownership: the economics and politics of convergence and concentration in the UK and European media

Sample text

1992: 63–4; Martin, 1993: 258–82). The main benefits, in practice, of monomedia (horizontal) and cross-media (vertical or diagonal) expansion strategies are explored in further empirical detail in Chapters 4 and 5, and sometimes include a variety of interesting and alternative strategic and managerial sub-goals not directly accounted for by profit maximization. Generally speaking, however, industrial economics attributes expansion – whether horizontal, vertical or diagonal and whether through internal growth or through mergers and takeovers – to two key incentives associated with profit-maximizing behaviour.

Conditional access systems, subscriber management systems (SMSs) or electronic programme guides – is that these functions are often located centrally between new service providers and viewers and so they occupy what is potentially a very powerful position. When individual firms have exclusive control over a vital activity or piece of infrastructure that all media suppliers need in order to reach viewers or to collect charges then, because of their control of the bottleneck, these firms are in a position to act as ‘gatekeepers’ and to decide who may or may not be allowed market access.

Whereas competition is generally seen as an essential stimulus to efficiency, the counter-argument may be mounted that ownership ceilings which promote competition result in an economic welfare loss by stopping media firms from realizing all available economies of scale and scope. Yet even when securing diversity of ownership involves sacrificing some potential efficiency gains, the advantages of having more than one supplier are often considered to take precedence. , 1992: 340). The postwar policy of exclusive public ownership of such activities has been reversed via a programme of privatization, regulation and efforts to promote competition.

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