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A media conglomerate, media group, or media institution is a
company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal person, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common pu ...

company
that owns numerous companies involved in
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement fo ...
enterprises, such as
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
,
radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 30 hertz (Hz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz). They are generated by an electronic device ...

radio
,
publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as book A ...
,
motion pictures A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface ...

motion pictures
,
theme parks Wonder Mountain at Canada's Wonderland An amusement park is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes. A theme park is a type of amusement park that bases its stru ...
, or the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
. According to the magazine ''
The Nation ''The Nation'' is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, covering progressive Progressive may refer to: Politics * Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform Political organizations * C ...
'', "Media conglomerates strive for policies that facilitate their control of the markets around the world."


Terminology

A
conglomerate Conglomerate or conglomeration may refer to: * Conglomerate (company) * Conglomerate (geology) * Conglomerate (mathematics) In popular culture: * The Conglomerate (American group), a production crew and musical group founded by Busta Rhymes ** Con ...
is a large company composed of a number of smaller companies (
subsidiaries A subsidiary, subsidiary company or daughter company is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mixture ...
) engaged in generally unrelated businesses. Some media conglomerates use their access in multiple areas to share various kinds of content such as: news, video and music, between users. The media sector's tendency to consolidate has caused formerly diversified companies to appear less diverse to prospective investors in comparison with similar companies that are traded publicly and privately. Therefore, the term media group may also be applied, however, it has not yet replaced the more traditional term.


Criticism

Critics have accused the large media conglomerates of dominating the media and using unfair practices. During a protest in November 2007, critics such as
Jesse Jackson Jesse Louis Jackson ( né Burns; born October 8, 1941) is an American political activist Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in Social change, social, Political campaign, political, Economics, economic, ...

Jesse Jackson
spoke out against consolidation of the media. This can be seen in the
news News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different Media (communication), media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, or through the testimony of observers and w ...

news
industry, where corporations refuse to publicize information that would be harmful to their interests. Because some corporations do not publish any material that criticizes them or their interests, media conglomerates have been criticized for limiting free speech or not protecting free speech. These practices are also suspected of contributing to the merging of entertainment and news (
sensationalism In journalism and mass media, sensationalism is a type of editorial tactic. Events and topics in news stories are selected and worded to excite the greatest number of readers and viewers. This style of news reporting encourages Media bias, biase ...
) at the expense of the coverage of serious issues. They are also accused of being a leading force behind the standardization of
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
(see
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which ha ...

globalization
,
Americanization Americanization is the influence American culture and business has on other countries outside the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous U ...
) and are frequently criticized by groups that perceive news organizations as being
bias Bias is a disproportionate weight ''in favor of'' or ''against'' an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded Open-mindedness is receptiveness to new ideas. Open-mindedness relates to the way in which people approach the views and kn ...

bias
ed toward
special interests Advocacy groups, also known as special interest groups, use various forms of advocacy Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social institutions. Advocacy include ...
of the owners. Because there are fewer independent media, there is less diversity in news and entertainment and therefore less competition. This can result in the reduction of different points of view as well as vocalization about different issues. There is also a lack of ethnic and gender diversity as a majority of those in media are white, middle-class men. There is a concern that their views are being shared disproportionately more than other groups, such as women and ethnic minorities. Women and minorities also have less ownership of media. Women have less than 7 percent of TV and radio licenses, and minorities have around 7 percent of radio licenses and 3 percent of TV licenses.


Examples by country

In the 2021
Forbes Global 2000 The Forbes Global 2000 is an annual ranking of the top 2,000 public companies in the world by ''Forbes'' magazine. The ranking is based on a mix of four metrics: sales, Profit (accounting), profit, assets and Market capitalization, market value. Th ...
list,
Comcast Comcast Corporation (formerly known as American Cable Systems and Comcast Holdings)Before the AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in mult ...
was America's largest media conglomerate, in terms of revenue, with
ViacomCBS ViacomCBS Inc. is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial ...

ViacomCBS
(controlled by
National Amusements National Amusements, Inc. is an American privately owned theater company and mass media based in , and incorporated in . It is the parent company of . History The company was founded by in 1936 in the suburb of as Northeast Theater Corpor ...

National Amusements
through supervoting shares),
The Walt Disney Company The Walt Disney Company, commonly just Disney (), is an American multinational entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, ...
, &
Discovery, Inc. Discovery, Inc. is an American multinational mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media (communication), media technology, technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. The technologies through which this co ...
completing the top four. In 1984, fifty independent media companies owned the majority of media interests within the United States. By 2011, 90% of the United States's media was controlled by six media conglomerates: GE/Comcast (NBC, Universal), News Corp (Fox News, ''Wall Street Journal'', ''New York Post''), Disney (ABC, ESPN, Pixar), Viacom (MTV, BET, Paramount Pictures), Time Warner (CNN, HBO, Warner Bros.), and CBS (Showtime, NFL.com). Between 1941 and 1975, several laws that restricted channel ownership within radio and television were enacted in order to maintain unbiased and diverse media. However under the Reagan administration, Congress and the
Federal Communications Commission The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in different jurisdictions. I ...
, then led by FCC Chairman Mark S. Fowler, began a concerted deregulation over the years 1981 and 1985. The number of television stations a single entity can own increased from seven to 12 stations. The industry continued to deregulate with enactment of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996 The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first significant overhaul of United States telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, Optical system, optical, or o ...
. Signed by President
Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton ('' né'' Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and ...

Bill Clinton
on 8 February 1996, it was considered by the FCC to be the "first major overhaul of telecommunications law in almost 62 years". In the radio industry, the 40-station ownership cap was lifted, leading to an unprecedented amount of consolidation. Since this period,
Clear Channel Communications iHeartMedia, Inc., formerly CC Media Holdings, Inc., is an American mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media (communication), media technology, technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. The technologi ...
grew from 40 stations to 1200 stations, in all 50 states, while
ViacomViacom, an acronym of Video & Audio Communications, may refer to: * Viacom (1952–2006) The first incarnation of Viacom Inc. (derived from "Video & Audio Communications") was an American media conglomerate. It began as CBS Television Film Sales ...
grew to owning 180 stations across 41 markets. As media consolidation grew, some in the nation began to speculate how it might negatively impact society at large. In the case of
Minot, North Dakota Minot ( ) is a city in and the county seat of Ward County, North Dakota, Ward County, North Dakota, United States, in the state's north-central region. It is most widely known for the Minot Air Force Base, Air Force base approximately north of t ...
, the concerns regarding media consolidation is realized. On 18 January 2002, a train containing hazardous chemicals derailed in the middle of the night, exposing countless Minot residents to toxic waste. Upon trying to get out an emergency broadcast, the Minot police were unable to reach anyone. They were instead forwarded to the same automated message, as all the broadcast stations in Minot were single-handedly owned by
Clear Channel Communications iHeartMedia, Inc., formerly CC Media Holdings, Inc., is an American mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media (communication), media technology, technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. The technologi ...
. As the FCC reviews media ownership rules, broadcasters continued to petition it for the elimination of all rules, while those who are against this easing would often cite the incident in Minot as how consolidation could be harmful. Like the United States, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, and New Zealand also experience the concentration of multiple media enterprises in a few companies. This concentration is an ongoing concern for the
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC; french: Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes, links=) is a public organization in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part ...
, the
Australian Communications and Media Authority The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is an Australian Government The Australian Government, also known as the Commonwealth Government, is the national government of Australia, a federalism, federal parliamentary system ...
, the Philippine
National Telecommunications Commission The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC; fil, Pambansang Komisyon sa Telekomunikasyon) is an attached agency of the Department of Information and Communications Technology Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a la ...
, and New Zealand's
Broadcasting Standards Authority The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA; mi, Te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho) is a New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and ...
. Other countries that have large media conglomerates with impacts on the world include: Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, China, and Brazil. Media conglomerates outside of the United States include Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings,
Hubert Burda Media Hubert Burda Media Holding is a German media group with headquarters in Offenburg. It originated as a small printing business, founded by Franz Burda Snr in Philippsburg, in 1903. In 1986, the corporate group was divided up between Franz Jn ...

Hubert Burda Media
,
Fuji Media Holdings JOCX-DTV, branded as and colloquially known as CX, is a Japanese television station based in Odaiba, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Owned-and-operated station, Owned and operated by the it is the flagship station of the Fuji News Network (FNN) and t ...

Fuji Media Holdings
,
ITV ITV or iTV may refer to: ITV *Independent Television (ITV), a British television network, consisting of: **ITV (TV network), a free-to-air national commercial television network covering the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands ...
, ProSiebenSat.1,
Mediaset Mediaset S.p.A., also known as Gruppo Mediaset in Italian language, Italian, is an Italian-based mass media company which is the largest commercial broadcasting, commercial broadcaster in the country. Founded in 1987 by former Italian prime minis ...
,
Axel Springer Axel Cäsar Springer (2 May 1912 – 22 September 1985) was a West German publisher, founder in 1946 of what is now Axel Springer SE Axel Springer SE is a German digital publishing Electronic publishing (also referred to as publishing, digit ...
,
JCDecaux JCDecaux Group (JCDecaux SA, ) is a multinational corporation based in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, known for its bus-stop advertising systems, billboards, Bicycle sharing system, public bicycle rental systems, and street furniture. It is ...
,
China Central Television China Central Television (CCTV) is a Chinese state-owned broadcaster controlled by the Chinese Communist Party ) , anthem = "The Internationale" , seats1_title = National People's Congress (13th National People's Congress, 1 ...
,
Alibaba Group Alibaba Group Holding Limited, also known as Alibaba Group and Alibaba.com, is a Chinese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, ...
,
ABS-CBN Corporation ABS-CBN Corporation is a Media in the Philippines, Filipino Media conglomerate, media and entertainment group based in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. It is the Philippines' largest entertainment and media conglomerate in terms of revenue ...
, GMA Network, Inc., TV5 Network, Inc.,
Asahi Shimbun Company is one of the five national newspapers in Japan. Its circulation, which was 5.16 million for its morning edition and 1.55 million for its evening edition as of June 2020, was second behind that of ''Yomiuri Shimbun'' and subsequently is the se ...
,
Grupo Globo Grupo Globo ( en, Globo Group), formerly known as Organizações Globo ( en, Globo Organization), is a Brazilian private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting succes ...
,
Baidu Baidu, Inc. (, meaning "a hundred times" or "a hundred degrees", anglicized ) is a Chinese multinational specializing in Internet-related services and products and (AI), headquartered in 's . It is one of the largest AI and Internet compan ...
, and
Bertelsmann Bertelsmann is a German private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...
.


United States

Notes:


International


See also

* Media imperialism *
Media proprietor A media proprietor, media mogul or media tycoon refers to a successful entrepreneur or businessperson who controls, through personal ownership or via a dominant position in any media related company or enterprise, media consumed by many individual ...
*
Multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whethe ...
*
Lists of corporate assets A ''list'' is any enumeration An enumeration is a complete, ordered listing of all the items in a collection. The term is commonly used in mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity ( ...


References

{{reflist Concentration of media ownership Types of business entity Mass media companies