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Legal and Ethical Implications of the Media Giant Mergers

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Background: Some DWI employees have opposed proposed changes in FCC regulations that will allow for more mergers overall in the print media and TV industry, permitting consolidation of up to 45% control in a geographic market prior to the FCC prohibiting further consolidation of media assets. The Editor of Consumer Reports magazine has recently wrote that "free TV and pay TV are completely intertwined. A handful of corporations own and control the vast majority of both." The public relations and lobbying team of the first tier media giants - GE, AOL/Time Warner, Viacom, and Walt Disney Co. - have requested we support the FCC's recommended changes in Congress.

Problem: Discuss the legal and ethical implications of the ongoing debate and take a position as to whether the changes should be allowed and would they benefit DWI.

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Solution Preview

Please see the response below (also attached for better formatting) and two supporting articles. I hope this helps and take care.

This is a longstanding debate. Please take the time to read the two articles, which will give you an excellent overview of the debate form the opponent's point of view. Let's argue that it should not be allowed. If you decide to position yourself as an opponent, you would argue that it is not in the best interest for DWI based on the arguments presented below and others that are presented in the two attached articles. You would not support the FCC's recommended changes in Congress.

The critics argue that deregulation of Media through making changes in Congress actually challenges the foundation of United States democracy and distort the intentions of the first Amendment, as the independent smaller businesses would no longer be able to operate where 45% control in a geographic area could be one of the media giants. Ethically it is wrong because the media giants for purely economic reasons would stamp out small independent media businesses (see attached article Deregulation of the Media.doc for more on this argument).

Indeed the opponents of deregulating the media ...

Solution Summary

In reference to the ongoing debate of the impact of mergers and/or acquisitions of large media corporations, this solution discusses the legal and ethical implications of the debate from both sides of the argument in terms of whether the changes should be allowed and the potential benefits (and to whom). Supplemented with two highly informative articles on the impact of deregulation of the media and specific arguments against mergers and acquisitions of media giants.

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