Variety

AT&T-Time Warner Trial: Comcast Executive Says ‘No Reason’ to Believe Merger Will Change Leverage

A top executive at Comcast testified at the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial that he has “no reason” to believe that the massive merger will have an impact on their company’s negotiations for Turner channels or HBO.  A key argument in the Justice Department’s case is that the merger will give AT&T-Time Warner increased leverage to demand more onerous fees from distribution rivals, ultimately driving up prices for consumers.

China to Put Media Under Cabinet-Level Control, Abolish SAPPRFT

China is to abolish the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) and is expected to set up a new media body answerable to the Cabinet, further tightening the Communist government’s control of media and entertainment. SAPPRFT, the regulatory body which currently oversees the media and entertainment sector, would be replaced by a new state radio and television administration attached to the State Council, or Cabinet. The proposal is being put to China’s ongoing national legislative session for deliberation.

House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Blackburn Introduces Net Neutrality Legislation

House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced network neutrality legislation, the Open Internet Preservation Act, that prohibits internet providers from blocking and throttling content, but does not address whether Internet service providers can create so-called “fast lanes” of traffic for sites willing to pay for it. The legislation also would require that ISPs disclose their terms of service, and ensure that federal law preempts any state efforts to establish rules of the road for internet traffic.

AT&T Can’t Easily Cut Connection With CNN or Turner

Will AT&T hang up on its quest for Time Warner if it can’t hang on to some of its most valuable assets? Answering that question could become paramount in the company’s effort to secure the $85 billion merger it proposed with Time Warner in October. Turner owns valuable sports rights, sharing with CBS the broadcast of the NCAA’s “March Madness” men’s basketball championship tournament. That event generated a record-setting $1.24 billion in national TV advertising in 2016, according to Kantar, a tracker of ad spending.