AT&T Proposes to Time Warner
Last week, AT&T announced plans to buy Time Warner for about $85 billion. AT&T is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the U.S., and Time Warner is a major media company that owns networks like CNN, HBO, and TBS.
If approved by federal regulators, the deal would create a new colossus company that would both produce premium content and distribute it to millions of Americans—and allow the new company to reach many more users than either AT&T or Time Warner could on its own. But such consolidation of power worries some critics, who say it could lead to higher prices by stifling competition, thereby hurting consumers. In 1982, the federal government ordered the breakup of AT&T into several different companies after regulators said it controlled too much of the long-distance and local phone service in the U.S.
- Who do the people in the cartoon represent, and what are they doing?
- Why does a consumer object to the “marriage”? What objections do you think he might have?
- How does the cartoonist use humor and symbolism to make his point? What point do you think he’s trying to make?
- Why do you think companies sometimes decide to merge? What benefits do you think it brings them?
- Do you think federal regulators should approve the deal? Why or why not?