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Concentration of media ownership

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“Concentration of Media Ownership” is a term that refers to the trend of fewer entities owning the majority of media outlets. This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in the United States, where it is often characterized as an oligopoly. The concentration of media ownership poses several risks. It can compromise media integrity, which is essential in protecting public interest and preserving democratic processes. This situation can also lead to biased content and limited diversity in viewpoints due to the elimination of net neutrality[1]. Media pluralism and diversity can be affected, as concentrated ownership can limit access to varied sources and opinions. Regulatory bodies and legislation play a crucial role in monitoring this issue, promoting community-centered media ownership models, and ensuring a diverse and balanced media landscape.

Terms definitions
1. net neutrality. Net neutrality is a guiding principle that preserves the open and unrestricted nature of the internet. It ensures that all internet traffic is treated equally, without any discrimination or preference given to any particular content, website, or application. Net neutrality regulations prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from favoring one type of content over another, enabling equal access for everyone. This principle promotes freedom, competition, and innovation by preventing ISPs from manipulating speed or access conditions. It's also a hot topic in policy debates, with differing regulations and enforcement across regions and countries. Recent developments include the repeal of net neutrality rules in the US in 2017, and strong regulations approved by the Indian Government in 2018. The impact of net neutrality on users, competition, and innovation is significant, shaping the internet as we know it.

Concentration of media ownership, also known as media consolidation or media convergence, is a process wherein fewer individuals or organizations control shares of the mass media. Contemporary research demonstrates increasing levels of consolidation, with many media industries already highly concentrated where a few companies own much of the market.

Media graphic showing the 2019 ownership of mass media groups in the United States

Globally, large media conglomerates include Bertelsmann, National Amusements (Paramount Global), Sony Group Corporation, News Corp, Comcast, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Discovery, Fox Corporation, Hearst Communications, Amazon (Amazon MGM Studios), Grupo Globo (South America), and Lagardère Group.

As of 2022, the largest media conglomerates in terms of revenue are Comcast, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Paramount Global.

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