The Writers Guild of America West Raises Concerns Over Disney, Amazon, and Netflix as “the New Gatekeepers” of the Entertainment Industry

The Writers Guild of America West Raises Concerns Over Disney, Amazon, and Netflix as “the New Gatekeepers” of the Entertainment Industry

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The Writers Guild of America West has released a 15-page antitrust report claiming that Disney, Amazon, and Netflix are on track to become the dominant forces in the entertainment industry. The report argues that recent mergers and deregulation have paved the way for these three companies to control content creation, consumer viewing options, and the way content is consumed. It further alleges that these companies have accumulated their market power through mergers and other anti-competitive practices, offering a troubling glimpse into the future of media.

The report highlights Disney’s series of mergers, which have increased prices for its streaming services, consolidated its position in the industry, and limited output and innovation. Netflix, once seen as a promoter of competition, is now accused of using its market dominance to exploit its employees, reduce investment in innovative content, and raise prices for consumers. Amazon, leveraging its status as a tech company, has aggressively acquired other companies, used tolls to hinder competition, and allegedly underpaid union residuals.

The Writers Guild calls on lawmakers and antitrust agencies to prevent further consolidation, investigate signs of anti-competitive behavior, and increase regulation and oversight of streaming platforms. The union supports the new merger guidelines introduced the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, which require consideration of the impact on labor in regulatory reviews.

By highlighting the power and practices of Disney, Amazon, and Netflix, the report aims to shed light on the diverging priorities among the member companies of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) during ongoing negotiations. The Writers Guild has long maintained that AMPTP member companies have different interests and could potentially make deals together or separately.

The report warns of the consequences of these companies becoming the new gatekeepers of the entertainment industry, including precarious working conditions, shorter employment terms, and lower pay for writers and other industry workers. It also raises concerns about Netflix’s ability to raise subscription fees without impacting its market share and Disney’s recent price increases for its streaming services.

As the entertainment industry continues to experience mergers and acquisitions, the Writers Guild emphasizes the need for safeguards against anti-competitive practices and the need to protect workers’ rights.