Do you remember the cartoon image of President Teddy Roosevelt taming the lions of economic trusts? Swap the leotard for a suit and the pince-nez for a scowl, you have the modern trust buster himself: Donald J. Trump. The lions he is facing off against are AT&T and Time Warner.
Liberals sounded the warning cry back in 2016: Trump is out to make money for his rich friends. It made sense right? Rich guy looks out for rich people. (Leftists prey on obvious misconceptions because, well, it plays to the masses.) The truth is Trump doesn’t have many rich friends; probably not many friends in general. If you don’t believe it, look at his moves.
Start with the tax cut. It actually does benefit the middle class as much as he said it does. Now, noone in the middle class was going to get an extra $10,000 in their pockets. That is a pipe dream. But, the extra $2,000 went to millions of Americans.
How about those tariffs? Nothing says, ‘I love millionaires’ like stopping their cheap outsourced metals. (That is sarcasm.) Even Democrats didn’t know how to react. The workers are ‘their’ people. (Were ‘their’ people?)
Then it comes to this: Two of the major media companies want to merge. AT&T and Time-Warner could pull off one of the biggest acquisitions in history. Based on what Democrats said about him, this should be an easy one for him. He should let the corporate giants merge, then prey on the consumer for millions in profits.
Just wait. He didn’t. Not only that his Department of Justice is battling back to stop the merger or create a compromise to keep healthy competition.
What is this deal?
In 2017, AT&T struck a deal to absorb Time-Warner to the tune of $85 billion. (Isn’t it funny how the numbers are so unimaginable it almost doesn’t look like a lot?)
Think about this: AT&T already has an extensive cell network and DirecTV. The two modes of communication for mass media. Time-Warner has its own networks, programming, and media conglomerates.
The merger could create a virtual vacuum of competition in the new media world. Their lawyers keep selling it as a way to prolong satellite TV’s life. But, this could set a dangerous precedent for the future.
Trump instructed his Department of Justice to deal with this merger. Why? The man isn’t anti-business, but he is looking out for his people: the voters.
The concern, and experts have attested to it, is that the merger would cut off competition in the new media landscape. Prices would go up for consumers because the new company could set the market price. That change could cost millions to consumers.
Competition is one of our free market safeguards against price-gouging. In this case it is at least worth considering. What would the repercussions be for a vertically integrated deal like this one?
That is where the Trump administration’s policy towards these mergers is important. Fight the big cases to set the precedent of preserving competition.
This goes beyond the big merger
In case you were wondering, this trial isn’t just about AT&T and Time Warner. The judge will be deciding a legal precedent for media mergers going forward. There is already a deal in place to merge T-Mobile and Sprint.
Here’s how it could play out. According to Axios, if the deal goes through, the likelihood of the mobile deal is higher. That consolidates the cell phone market. That won’t be good for competition.
Or, the AT&T-Time Warner merger could be squashed. The continued play out of free market media could continue. AT&T could turn their resources towards challenging the Sprint-T-Mobile merger. That would stop the consolidation of the cell phone market as well.
So much hangs in the balance of this case. It’s not just about the two giants integrating. It could change the way we receive media, the prices we pay, and the carriers. While any CEO can sell you on the positives, the losses could be substantial and pushed onto the consumer.
That is a long explanation to show you how Trump is fighting for you. It won’t always be in a tax bill or an executive order. Sometimes it is decided in a courtroom. The legal precedent going forward could set the stage for a new era of collusion or free market. That is how much is at stake.
Think of it, the companies stand to gain billions. Their executives could get millions. Their shareholders could get thousands. We the consumers continue to leak like a sieve from the pocketbook.
Not if Trump has anything to do with it. Move over Teddy — there is a new rough rider in D.C.
Article last modified on July 18, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Trump Trust Buster: Don’s Plan to Save Consumers Millions - AMP.
Article last modified on July 18, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC .