VICE on HBO looks at factors that led to the 2008 financial crisis and the efforts made by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Timothy Geithner, and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke to save the United States from an economic collapse. The feature-length documentary explores the challenges these men faced, as well as the consequences of their decisions.
The future of AT&T could be shaped by two big decisions in Washington this week, with the Justice Department suing the telecom giant on Monday to block its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner and the Federal Communications Commission announcing a plan Tuesday to roll back net neutrality rules, handing a big win to Internet providers.
.. If it wins its antitrust case against the DOJ, AT&T could buy Time Warner without offering any concessions to the government. It could then benefit from the repeal of the government’s net neutrality rules, allowing it to leverage Time Warner’s massive library of shows, television stations and films like few other companies.
- Some, such as May, argued that the loosened regulations would allow AT&T to market Time Warner’s content in new and different ways that could theoretically help Americans.
- Others argue that the combination of a bigger AT&T with a more relaxed regulatory environment could simply increase the firm’s incentives to harm competitors in the marketplace.
.. “One can’t imagine that there are any broadband providers who would be eager to test the limits of what is now allowable under this regulatory regime, given the enormous risk of popular and/or regulatory or legislative backlash,” said Moffett.
.. the combined company could use its newfound control over HBO, CNN and TNT
.. AT&T’s chief executive Randall Stephenson has said that the goal of purchasing Time Warner is to build an advertising behemoth that can compete with Google and Facebook.
.. “The problem from the point of view of DOJ is that if the deal is approved, it will be very hard to police any commitment
.. “The record of such commitments is very poor. The companies do whatever they want. And that’s well understood by everybody.”
It’s about to get worse: President Trump’s F.C.C., under the leadership of its fiercely deregulatory chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to let these companies become even more powerful by letting them do whatever they want and allowing them to merge with one another.
.. pushed Congress to erase rules that would have constrained these companies from using and selling our sensitive online information.
And he is getting ready to wipe out the classification of high-speed data services as a utility — even though, without this legal label, the F.C.C.’s authority to require these five companies to treat their customers fairly will be fatally undermined.
Mr. Pai is responsible for a sector that accounts for a sixth of the American economy. But even that is an understatement: Everything we do, from manufacturing to governance, requires reliable, inexpensive, world-class data transmission.
.. Perhaps the most immediate concern is the commission’s so-called net neutrality rule .. Mr. Pai has put dismantling this structure at the top of his agenda.
.. It’s not just that the existing giants want free rein over their customers. They also want even greater scale and even greater involvement in content as well as distribution
- .. Comcast bought NBCU
- .. AT&T, which already swallowed up DirecTV, wants to buy HBO’s and CNN’s programming through an $85 billion merger with Time Warner.
- .. Verizon already bought AOL, is about to absorb Yahoo
.. Other countries — South Korea, Sweden, even China — have made the widespread adoption of universal, inexpensive, high-speed data transmission a priority.
.. understand that markets, if left to their own devices, won’t deliver this benefit to all citizens.