This article investigates whether television stations in small markets should be allowed to merge. The Federal Communications Commission prohibits such mergers. The FCC claims that such mergers will reduce the diversity of communications in small markets, and many commentators agree with the FCC. Consequently, the FCC and the commentators conclude that mergers should be prohibited. This article shows that the diversity rationale is wrong. For the most part, in small market settings diversity will be enhanced by mergers. Demonstrating this relationship (merger increases diversity of communication) occupies most of the article’s analytics. Based on my analysis, I suggest that there should be a rebuttable presumption in favor of merger in hearings before the Federal Communications Commission.


Administrative Law | Antitrust and Trade Regulation | Communications Law | Economics | Law and Economics

Date of this Version

September 2008