Cuban: AT&T/Time Warner Is Needed Combo

Online content pioneer Mark Cuban told the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee Wednesday that the AT&T-Time Warner merger is pro-consumer and will be necessary for the companies going forward to be competitive with the dominant content providers, which he said was the five major web content giants: Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook.

In his testimony, Cuban said that while radio and TV used to be the big competition for online streaming services, it is now the app-driven websites and services like Snapchat. He said Facebook is the dominant content delivery position, saying it was taking over millennials and had become the major alternative to boredom, which he said used to be the province of TV and radio.

Public Knowledge president Gene Kimmelman countered that all those web giants weren't charging $200 per month for those apps and that user-generated online content was not comparable to the expensively produced content from a Time Warner. He also said that those all depend on the ISP gatekeepers, including AT&T.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.