Current Affairs

Big Sisters

Bill Safire has a great column in today’s New York Times about these big media mergers.

The reason given by giants to merge with other giants is to compete more efficiently with other enlarging conglomerates. The growing danger, however, is that media giants are becoming fewer as they get bigger. The assurance given is “look at those independent Internet Web sites that compete with us” — but all the largest Web sites are owned by the giants. …

But the message in this latest potential merger is not about a clash of media megalomaniacs, nor about a conspiracy driven by “special interests.” The issue is this: As technology changes, how do we better protect the competition that keeps us free and different?

Which, of course, brings to mind the impact that patents have on competition in a world of ever larger big players. Property rights vs. competition — a very juicy turf for debate.

Better yet, call it “citizens’ media” — as Jeff Jarvis does. Tim Oren says it’s time for a conference.