The Supreme Court waded into a two-decade long debate over the extent to which the Federal Communications Commission can relax media ownership rules. At stake are recent FCC moves toward deregulation, allowing the common ownership of a newspaper and broadcast stations in the same market, as well as giving more leeway for media companies to own more than one TV and radio outlet in the same city.
As the antitrust battle between the Department of Justice and merger hopefuls AT&T and Time Warner moved through its third week in court, the government accused the companies of trying to shore up their lucrative pay TV business at the expense of rivals—and presented a memo as proof. It was a draft document from April 2017 created by an AT&T executive touting the combination as a way to “ensure stability” of the pay TV business. The memo said the business was in a “slow, structural decline” but would be a “cash cow” for years to come, according to press reports.