NYT: Multibillion-dollar mergers will drive up prices

The New York Times editorial board is pushing back on the proposed and reported multibillion mergers in the media and communications industries.

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In an editorial over the weekend, the board warned that the most recent spate of mergers will, if approved by regulators, force competitors to find ways to get bigger themselves, resulting in more consolidation.

The editorial pointed to the proposed $45 billion deal to combine Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the proposed $49 billion deal to combine AT&T and DirecTV and the reported unsuccessful attempts of 21st Century Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch to buy Time Warner Inc. for $80 billion.

The board warned of an “arms race” in the media and telecom industries, which “should deeply concern” the regulators evaluating the deals.

“Consumers have paid a heavy price for past mergers in the media and communications industries,” the editorial said, pointing to increasing cable and satellite prices and decreasing customer satisfaction.

“Regulators should know that any decision to approve the pending telecommunications mergers will undoubtedly lead to more consolidation and higher prices,” the board wrote.