It's an election year in the United States, and as always, that means that social, economic, and political issues will be put under the spotlight and magnified before the public to help show candidates' values and how they handle things. AT&T's recent buyup of Time Warner marks the merging of one of the largest mobile carriers in the US with one of the largest cable providers and media empires in the US. Naturally, this should raise at least a few eyebrows for antitrust regulators. US Senator Hillary Clinton, this year's democratic candidate for presidency, reportedly thinks that regulators need to take a closer look at the deal, calling for them to "scrutinize it closely", according to spokesman Brian Fallon.
Senator Clinton's attitude is far from unique in the political landscape. Republican candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump has gone on record against the deal, saying that it entails too much media power being in too few hands, and if it was up to him, the deal would not be approved. Indeed, such a huge deal is set to essentially form a mega-conglomerate of media and networking, with the likes of DIRECTV and CNN under one roof. The $80 billion buyout has yet to obtain official government approval, so the debate on whether it would be good for consumers and content producers to have such a monolith around is still on up to the highest levels of government.
Government involvement in the world of technology, as seen with heavy antitrust scrutiny against Alphabet and the ongoing backdoor debate concerning encryption, can end in counter-intuitive meddling or spark positive change. What end of the spectrum current government figures' stances on this large deal are on is still up for debate, since the deal has yet to fully go through all levels of necessary approval. If the merger goes through, we will have a fully self-contained media empire that handles all levels of delivery of media to consumers, from selling devices and connections to creating and distributing the media in question. The implications of this gargantuan and yet streamlined approach are still, at this time, quite unclear.