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Re: miCroBSoft?

In a message dated 97-07-02 15:14:03 EDT, you write:

<< If Microsoft and CBS deal happens, it's going to raise
 some serious issues of media ownership concentration.
 Everyone's talking about Microsoft's involvement with MSNBC,
 but if they  take over CBS, they'll automatically get
 access to 2 cable networks(CMT and TNN) which are 99% carried
 on all almost all cable systems and available on all DSB packages.
 (and Gates can certainly launch a brand programming service just
 like NBC did with MSNBC when it killed off AMerica's Talking). In addition,
 MS large stake in QVC opens lots of other opportunities, too...
 With Microsoft already in the cableTV distribution businesss(last
 month's acquisition of Comcast(MSO) and partners with TCI/Liberty on 
 interactiveTV projects), they would have an upper hand on Fox, ABC and NBC.
 And, with acquisition of WebTV you can bet they'll be the first ones
 to position themselves as the main source on digital interactive TV.
 In the MSNBC partnership, where MS contributes $200 million a year and
 about 300 sandal-wearing technoids based in Redmond, WA, Gates got a
 an upclose look of running a real broadcast operation. MSNBC which 
 by the way is a very tiny part of the NBC operation still generated $40 
 million profit for the Peacock last year. 
 -Mark >>

Your thoughtful post raises some important issues that must be considered,
but in the end, the deal does not concern me and is clearly in line with what
was anticipated when the Telecommunications Act was passed.  While some of us
might not like the concentration of ownership and the cross ownership between
cable programmers and distributors, these kind of deals were expected under
the public policy passed by our elected representatives.

Also, while the deal would make Microsoft a major player in the media world,
their media holdings would still not be as large as Time-Warner or Ruppert
Murdoch's worlwide holdings.  Time-Warner is one of the leading suppliers of
cable TV programming and also one of the largest cable TV distributors.  I
don't think MS would be as large as Time-Warner in that regard.

Overall, I don't see MS owning CBS as much different than a major corporation
such as GE owning NBC.

Dan Billings
Bowdoinham, Maine