Trump’s right to oppose the AT&T Time Warner merger. But it’s for the wrong reasons.

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[Commentary] There is some grounds for asking whether the Trump administration actions have a lot more to to with President Trump’s dislike of CNN than with a supposed concern about monopolies. Judging from other actions, President  Trump and his appointees don’t harbor a serious concern about the impact of media consolidation on the American public. Take net neutrality. Or the proposed merger between Sinclair Broadcasting Group and Tribune Media. It’s hard to avoid noticing that even as the Justice Department is attempting to stop one major media merger, the FCC is undertaking policies that would make them easier elsewhere, all but clearing the regulatory runway so outfits such as Sinclair meet the conditions for approval in an easier fashion. Ending net neutrality will almost certainly cut into the voices and outlets that are easily accessible by consumers, leading them to corporate-behemoth-favored sources of information and entertainment. The Sinclair Tribune merger would have a similar impact on television markets, with the added twist that it would favor conservative voices. The opposition to the AT&T-Time Warner merger is all well and good. But if President Trump and his appointees are truly concerned about the impact of media consolidation on Americans, they’ve sure got a funny way of showing it. [Helaine Olen is a contributor to the Plum Line blog and the author of "Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry." Her work has appeared in Slate, the Nation, the New York Times, the Atlantic and many other publications. She serves on the advisory board of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project]


Trump’s right to oppose the AT&T Time Warner merger. But it’s for the wrong reasons.