Media analysts and the entertainment industry aren’t the only ones paying attention to the recent CBS-Viacom merger.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a current frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, has weighed in on the merger, Tweeting that the Department of Justice “should be paying close attention.”
According to Warren, the pair of mega mergers which have taken place in the last few months (the other being Disney’s acquisition of Fox) has the potential to “raise serious concerns for consumers, employees, and the entire sector.”
Clearly Warren is afraid that the mass consolidation taking place across the media landscape is putting too much power in the hands of large conglomerates, with the potential negative effects including price hikes, mass layoffs and the threat of a multi-way monopoly in the media business.
CBS and Viacom reached a deal for the merger Tuesday after a marathon negotiating process, with the enlarged company taking on the moniker ViacomCBS Inc. The merger has so far yielded relatively few internal changes at the two companies, with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish leading the combined enterprise as president-CEO. Unlike the recent Disney/Fox merger (where plenty of divisions overlapped), Viacom and CBS have been mostly operating unique businesses, meaning that concerns about massive trims are low for the time being. At present, ViacomCBS companies together have 750 TV series ordered to production.
The reaction to the merger on Wall Street has been mixed, with questions being raised over the viability of the new company’s management structure and whether it will allow for maximizing assets.