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Situational awareness: UK competition regulator says the 21st Century Fox takeover of Sky News is not in the public best interest because of fair competition concerns.
ICYMI: Comcast-NBC merger conditions expired on Saturday, just a few weeks before the largely-anticipated AT&T-Time Warner DOJ case. Now, some are worried about anti-competition problems.
Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images
Telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon are racing into the digital advertising space — currently dominated by Google and Facebook — now that Washington has given them the ability to sell data to third-party advertisers.
AT&T's proposed merger with Time Warner will be a linchpin in the battle between internet companies and the web firms that rely on their services. If the merger survives the Department of Justice challenge, AT&T and Verizon — two of the largest internet companies in the U.S. — could collectively put a dent in Google and Facebook's advertising dominance.
“What a lot of people don’t understand — and frankly this is what I think the government is missing as it relates to looking at these mergers in a backward-looking way — is we’re competing in the land of the giants... If you don’t think Facebook and Google and Amazon are the land of the giants, think again."— John Martin, chief executive of the Time Warner-owned Turner, at CES
Conservative regulators are seizing on this rationale as they pull up telecom regulations, arguing that empowering legacy telecom companies could be an way to curb the dominance of the duopoly.
AT&T and Verizon have taken major steps to take advantage of the regulatory environment that will allow them to dive deep in the ad business. Both companies are using brand safety as a major pitch to lure advertisers to their advertising platforms.
Go deeper: More from Axios' David McCabe and I in the Axios stream.
Digital publishers are fed up with Google and Facebook hosting their content without paying for it. Several are calling for, or predicting, a relationship between web platforms and digital content providers that mimics the carriage relationships between TV networks and cable and satellite companies.
Why it matters: Platforms are looking to host more premium content, especially long-form video, as people migrate away from traditional TV. Their push for those ad dollars is empowering content creators with video expertise to demand premiums for the content they can provide.
Bottom line: The pendulum is swinging in content companies' favor.
A rise in disputes over carriage fees — which are becoming more and more expensive as content costs increase — are causing the number of TV blackouts to skyrocket, meaning consumers sometimes can't access their favorite shows.
According to the American Television Alliance, 2017 was the worst year for TV blackouts on record — with more than twice as many as the year before.
Trust in traditional journalism online has reached a six-year high while trust in social media and search engines has reached a near six-year low, according to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer — an annual survey that looks at global trust in media, business and government.
Why it matters: The survey results reflect a global reckoning around fake news and misinformation, which has intensified over the past year as automated tech platforms have come to dominate news distribution and consumption.
"This is a very important opportunity for media companies devoted to informing the general public." Edelman CEO Richard Edelman tells Axios' Mike Allen.
Why it matters: As more people increasingly get news and information about elections on social media and as more election dollars shift to digital, the stakes are higher for these companies to ensure they are prime destinations for political advertisers and safe destinations for consumers.
Note: Steve Passwaiter of Kantar/CMAG says that with all of the retirements of senior House members, the projections in the chart above may even turn out to be "a little conservative."
Netflix blew past investor expectations Monday, adding more subscribers and revenue than expected and plans to spend more on content than ever before.
But, the company said it lost $39 million for content that was not released. Netflix CFO David Wells said on the company's earnings video that a write-down of this magnitude was “related to the societal reset around sexual harassment."
DuckDuckGo started a decade ago as a privacy-friendly search engine alternative to Google that doesn't collect your personal information. Now, facing the data-collection dominance of Facebook and Google, it's seeing anonymous searching spike and is expanding beyond the search box, Axios' Kim Hart writes.
Why it matters: Google and Facebook track individuals' online behavior to tailor advertising based on those preferences. With data breaches on the rise, along with concerns over election manipulation through targeted ads, smaller firms who want to offer an alternative to how the tech giants do business are gaining traction.