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Yes. The government hasn’t won a vertical merger case in decades. According to the Department of Justice’s own review guidelines, “vertical mergers” between content owners like Time Warner and distributors like AT&T are much less worrisome than horizontal ones. Meanwhile, the Fang companies — Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — now dominate the digital entertainment landscape, which makes the government’s argument that the merger of two old-media firms would fundamentally alter competition even harder to make.
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