Telecommunications Policy

Consolidation Station: Next Stop - Comcast & Time Warner Merger

by Jordan Reth, Policy Fellow

The proposed deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is the latest in a wave of major media mergers drawing public concern and scrutiny from the feds. Deals like AT&T’s reported acquisition of Direct TV for $50 billion and Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp for $19 billion, along with last year’s Maker Studios buyout by Disney—also near the billion dollar mark—are part of a larger trend of corporate consolidation. The Comcast Time Warner deal itself could be upwards of $45 billionbut is not the biggest deal Time Warner has been a part of. The Time Warner/AOL Online deal in 2000 was the largest merger by value ever announced, coming in at over $186 billion.

Beyond the staggering dollar figures are very real antitrust and public policy concerns. Let’s look at what it means for creators and fans when just a few companies control so much of the media, technology and entertainment universe. 

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FMC Comments to FCC on "Promoting and Protecting The Open Internet"

On July 15, 2014 Future of Music Coalition submitted the following comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s public docket on Net Neutrality.  You can submit your own comments at ; reply comments will be due in mid-September.

I. Introduction

The arrival of broadband Internet has reshaped how music is accessed and enjoyed while presenting new challenges and opportunities for creators and the music industries. Though these developments had an early, disruptive initial impact on traditional music business models, there is every reason to believe that Internet-engendered innovations will also pave the way for a brighter future for music, provided that the ability for creative entrepreneurs to reach audiences online is not compromised. read more

Arts & Culture Organizations, Musicians, and Advocates Call For Real Net Neutrality

July 15, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, prominent musicians and songwriters urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish rules to keep the Internet open for creativity and entrepreneurship. In a separate filing, more than two dozen of the America’s most influential arts and culture organizations called for the strongest rules possible to prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from picking winners and losers online.

Musicians and songwriters including OK Go, R.E.M., Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Nate Query of the Decemberists, Laura Balance of Superchunk and Merge Records, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Laura Veirs, Rebecca Gates, Martín Perna of Antibalas and Daptone Super Soul Revue and more described the dangers of a “pay-to-play” Internet, where only those with deep pockets can reach audiences without interference.

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Musicians' Comments to FCC on "Promoting & Protecting The Open Internet"

On July 15, 2014, a consortium of musicians submitted the following joint comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s public docket on Net Neutrality.  You can submit your own comments at or email openinternet [at] fcc [dot] gov; reply comments will be due September 10. Participating musicians included:

Nicole Atkins
Laura Ballance, bass player/ song writer for Superchunk, label owner, Merge Records
Charles Bissell, The Wrens
The Blow
Rebecca Gates, musician/composer/producer
Merrill Garbus, tUnE-yArDs
Jim James, My Morning Jacket
Cheston Knapp, writer/editor
Erin McKeown
Sean Meadows, Everlasting the Way
Brett Lyman, co-owner of M’lady’s Records, Machu Picchu Records, and musician (Chain & the Gang, Hive Dwellers)
Neal Morgan, drummer/arranger
Thao Nguyen, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
Alec Ounsworth, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Jeff Parker, (guitarist/composer/jazz musician/member of Tortoise)
Tony Perez, Editor, Tin House Books
Martín Perna (saxophone- Antibalas, Daptone Super Soul Revue)
Nate Query, bassist,  The Decemberists, Black Prairie
John Strohm, musician and attorney
Laura Veirs, singer-songwriter
Michael Wells, Dir. of Ops & Digital Light @ In The Attic Records, bassist for The Walkabouts

I. Artists Make The Internet Incredible

We file these comments as musicians, songwriters, entrepreneurs, rabble-rousers, advocates, innovators, Internet users and members of the public. Each of us uses the Internet in practically every aspect of our lives and careers, from connecting with fans to booking tours, to selling music and merchandise to collaborating with other artists. Those of us who remember the small army of personnel it took in the old days to do even a couple of the things listed above are grateful for the innovations that have come from an open Internet. read more

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