Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Who radio conglomerates really threaten Here's a typically misguided piece on how recording companies (NYTimes) are teaming up to stop radio consolidation. The RIAA prefers small local stations because 1) they're cheap to bribe and 2) they're in weak negotiating positions. Regional networks like ClearChannel thwart this because 1) they charge higher rates and 2) they're in more powerful negotiating positions.

A *seemingly* peculiar twist to this legislation is the labels' call Congressional limits on the amount labels pay radio stations. The reason they're asking for governmental intervention is because such a (private) contract is collusive, and therefore illegal under US law. But the recording industry has a long and rich history of government granted monopolies, protection, and injunctive relief from the future and there's no reason that should change now. Amusingly, the same folks who decry the RIAAs outrageous legislative actions in the technology realm (DMCA, AHRA, SSSCA) will probably support this piece of monopolistic, pro-RIAA market-rigging, thinking they're somehow standing up for the little guy when really they're just supporting very incumbents they claim to detest.

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