Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Media deregulation - good or bad?

I'm not sure about this movement stateside:

... critics who blamed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for creating consolidation in the broadcast industry say certain forces are back again, quietly calling on the FCC to provide additional deregulation.

On the one hand, it's true that big companies could tie up the marketplace and exert control over the media, and we've certainly seen that. On the other hand, deregulation allows smaller media companies to emerge in the wake of the inevitable implosion of the big ones, and end up providing more choice for consumers.

Granted, implosions take a long time, and a lot of damage can be done in the interim by oligopoly types.

But still ... can attempts to prevent such damage also be harmful, and end up merely creating competing cartels? (In my experience as an ethnic broadcaster since 1990, it sure seems like that has been the case so far.)

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