Ever since Bernie Sanders bowed out of the presidential race, deferring to Hillary Clinton, his public appearances have been intermittent. He makes the occasional surrogate appearance for the Clinton campaign here and there, but those appearances feel as if Sanders was somehow coerced (not implying “menace”) into making said appearances for an otherwise passionate man. But as of late, Sanders has returned to the national scene with his outright and passionate disdain for the pending AT&T-Time Warner business merger which would unite the two behemoths of media.
While the two parties involved in the proposed merger have been more than willing to highlight the “benefits” of their business merger, Sanders has taken to railing against the purposeful obfuscation of general business dynamics which would in turn devastate the Internet and open media as we know it. Where AT&T and Time Warner have both gone out of their way to state how beneficial would be the merger, Sanders feels that the combination is “just the latest effort to shrink our media landscape, stifle competition and diversity of content, and provide consumers with less while charging them more.
Sanders goes on the state that approving the merger of AT&T and Time Warner would prove to be of great consequence to modern American democracy as we know it, and that AT&T and Time Warner know it as well, but prefer profit margins over civilian sovereignty. Sanders states that our democracy “thrives when there is a diversity of viewpoints, and when citizens have unlimited access to information.” Effectively, Sanders is attempting to highlight the fact that something smells fowl in the potential merger, as a continually divided and segmented America may unwittingly be strengthening AT&T and Time Warner’s campaign to unify all media under one proverbial roof.
While Sanders is most certainly the biggest name to weigh in on the ramifications of such a merger between AT&T and Time Warner, other media and societal specialists have spoken out against the merger as well, stating that the proposed deal would create a “seismic shift” in the sectors of media and technology. Furthermore, media experts (real ones, not talking heads) have suggested that such a merger would permit AT&T and Time Warner to gain control over hugely valuable brands spanning television, film, sports, video games, and Internet providers.
AT&T and Time Warner’s proposed merger does have the potential to be the world-ender of all business agreements, as the two behemoths combining would allow them to more or less funnel competition through a single channel, rather than through multiple. Its an alarming and scary proposal that could potentially undermine the Internet when its all said and done (if the deal goes through), and would change life as we know, without even knowing it. Here’s hoping that Sanders’ recent outcry might help perk some ears to the issues that could crop up out of an approval of the proposed deal.