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CBS and Viacom Will Merge Once Again

Media and entertainment oligopoly is growing.

The corporate boards at Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and Viacom Inc. have agreed on Tuesday, August 13 to a $30 billion deal to merge as one company again called ViacomCBS. Viacom President and CEO Bob M. Bakish will become the new CEO of ViacomCBS. CBS owns 50% of The CW, publishing company Simon & Schuster, Inc., Pop TV cable channel, and Showtime Networks. Viacom owns Paramount Pictures, BET, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Logo, TV Land, VH1, and CMT.

As of August 2019, about five major mass media and entertainment companies in the United States produce and own more than 90% of the media American consumers use. These companies include ViacomCBS, AT&T in which it owns WarnerMedia, the Murdoch owned Fox Corporation, NBC Universal in which it is owned by Comcast, and The Walt Disney Company in which it recently purchased major assets previously owned by Fox as well as all of Lucasfilms, Pixar, and Marvel. Other companies have included Verizon Communications in which it owns AOL and Yahoo.

Like all other mass media and entertainment conglomerates, ViacomCBS will expand its digital streaming services to compete with platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+, and Disney+. The FCC and the Department of Justice must make the final decision on the approval of the merger.

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