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Antitrust Regulation

Duncan H. Brown


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As a neo-liberal approach to media policymaking has spread, many nations have relied more heavily on competition and the marketplace to shape the structure and output of their electronic media industries. The result has been a greater reliance on antitrust laws designed to maintain a competitive marketplace rather than industry-specific regulations (→  Media Policy ; Media Economics ). Indeed, this faith in the marketplace to produce optimal outcomes has been so great that it has often led to a view that promoting competition is virtually the only concern policymakers should have. But there has also been a countervailing force at work. In an era of growing media globalization and regionalization, many governments have seen the need to allow media corporations to grow in order to compete in this new global media economy. The result has often been a reluctance to apply antitrust laws as rigorously as in the past (→  Globalization of the Media ; Media Conglomerates ). In the United States, antitrust laws developed in the late nineteenth century as a reaction to the growth of big business. These laws were designed to limit the economic and political power of these firms and their ability to collude in the creation of cartels to dominate an industry by destroying potential competitors and setting prices at levels that harmed consumers. Wells (2002) has observed that this reaction ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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