Media Concentration in Europe: Participation or Resistance to globalisation.-欧洲媒体集中报道：参与或抵抗全球化全球化常常被描绘成一个全世界带来多元文化社会的积极运动，所有的地球人集中在“地球村”里，为整个世界带来无限的利益。全球化也被人们普遍描绘成这是人类进步和社会发展的必然结果，是一个自然而然的现象。但是事实上是，全球化绝非自然过程产生的，也并非无缘无故渗透到世界不同的文化和人民当中。全球化是一个人类有意思定下的定义，这也是一些强权国家的故意行为，这与商业企业和国际组织活动的利益息息相关，应急通信和信息技术的发展也为企业进军国外市场提供给了主要的流动渠道。媒体行业可能是一个经历了全球化进程中受到影响最大的商业模式。媒体所涉及的方法包括创建、组织、管理和分发发展迅速。世界市场正变得越来越一体化，资本主义模型获得媒体市场的统治地位。这些趋势对市场施加压力，让他们国家的媒体更多的商业可行性,依赖于广告市场观众的关注,把消费者作为资产。Participation or Resistance to globalisation.Media Concentration in Europe: Participation or Resistance to globalisation.Globalisation is often portrayed as a positive movement which brings diverse cultures and societies together, integrating them into a global village with evident benefits for all participants in the process. It is widely depicted as an inexorable result of human progress and social evolution governed by the laws of nature but in reality, globalisation is anything but a natural sequence of processes resulting from the cross penetration of different cultures and peoples of the world.Globalisation is a defined outcome resulting from conscious human choices and the deliberate actions of some powerful nations, commercial business conglomerates and international organisations who are the active stakeholders in the process. Also the emergent developments in communications and information technologies have provided mobility channels for the major corporations to foray into foreign markets.The media industry is perhaps one that has experienced the extent to which globalisation influences industry business models. The methodologies involved in the creation, organisation, management and distribution of media has evolved rapidly and increased in outreach. The world's markets are becoming more and more integrated and capitalist models are gaining dominance in the media markets. These trends exert pressure on the markets to make their nation's medias more commercially viable, dependent on advertising which markets the audience's attention as consumers as assets.Although a lot of nations produce their own television, film, music and print media content, they do so using American, British or Japanese models making these media products ‘globalised'. Although these national media products might reflect the local culture, it is an outlet for global consumer product marketers to include these specific cultures into a global market. Roland Robertson (1995) describes such occurrences as ‘glocal' – local productions done with global forms and ideas. Global companies also have a significant influence on the process with standards organisations such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) allocating satellite orbits, determining broadcasting frequencies and defining standards for telephones, mobile phones, faxes, and internet connections. There are also a handful of telecommunication companies Cable & Wireless, who run much of the world's communications infrastructure of optical fibre cables, satellite, and high-speed lines (Jan, 2005).Also, the increased penetration of media technology around the world is another major enabler to globalisation. Virtually all nations have a few inhabitants who have access to satellite television and internet connectivity. The difference is that while the world's most advanced and technologically developed countries use such media on a daily basis and are succumbing to the ubiquitous nature of these technological developments and their infiltration of everyday life, other people in emerging markets and underdeveloped nations are just seeing these for the first time and gradually getting to grips with the uses, effects and implications of such media technologies. This gives an opportunity for global conglomerates to expand and take advantage of the market gap to maximise profit and spread their global coverage and economic clout.In the analysis of globalization and the media, it is very difficult to separate both concepts and delineate the effects they have on each other. Most theorists argue that there is no globalization without media while others agree that the operation of contemporary media is a key driver in world globalisation. According to Rantanen, the role of media and communication in globalisation is obvious yet barely visible making thereby establishing the connection is rather vague (2005:4). Most of these theories on globalisation can be categorised under one of the following: political, economic and cultural however focussing on one only of these categories would not present a holistic view of the concept of globalisation and how it operates. In 1990, Giddens provided a neutral definition of globalisation as ‘the intensification of world-wide social relations, which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa' (ibid.: 64). However he went a bit further by describing three phases of the globalisation debate which contains the categories mentioned earlier. The first phase is a debate on whether globalisation exists or not. The next phase is an examination of its consequences on whatever it influences and finally the third phase of his analysis is the examination of responses required to address the negative effects of globalisation (Rantanen, 2005). Another theory put forward by Thompson focuses on media and culture, defining globalisation as the ‘growing interconnectedness of different parts of the world, a process which gives rise to complex forms of interaction and interdependency' (Thompson, 1995:149). An application of Thompson's definition of globalisation to study of the political economy of the media can be used to describe the transformation of new mass media structures of control in our contemporary society.Traditionally, national media systems consisted of domestically owned radio, television and newspaper industries which were internally regulated. However, from the mid 1980s onwards there have been several waves of mergers and acquisitions in the media markets accompanied by the emergence of giant multinational media companies. This trend is a relatively new phenomenon that became mainstream in the 1980s where apart from the imports of books, films, music and TV shows, the media systems existed in a defined national context. The three main factors argued to have contributed to this trend are: technological change, deregulation and liberalisation policies and the availability of capital (Picard, 2002 and Ozanich and Wirth cited in Albarran and Mierzejewska, 2004).Beginning in the 1980s, ‘policy changes and economic pressures from the IMF, World Bank and U.S. government to deregulate and privatize media and communication systems coincided with new satellite and digital technologies, resulting in the rise of transnational media giants' (McChesney, 2003). The major media players see themselves as global entities regardless of where they originated from or where their current head offices are located. Management executives from some of the major firms have in the past made remarks which demonstrated their worldwide clout. Companies like Bertelsmann, a traditionally German enterprise and even AOL-Time Warner an American outfit have ceased to view or address themselves based on their countries of origin. SoAn ideal way to understanding how closely the global commercial media system is to consider the role and effect of advertising. Advertising is an expense incurred by the largest firms within any market. The commercial media system is the necessary transmission belt for business to market their wares across the world; therefore globalisation would cease to exist without advertising. 75% of global expenditure on advertising is made to only about 20 media companies (The Economist 11 March 2000). About five or six top ad agencies dominate the 350 Billion dollar industry. The consolidation of the global advertising industry is just and pronounced as that in global media and the two are related (ibid.:13).Two strategies which exist as market drivers to global media corporations are growth and consolidation in order to resist competition buy-out and diversification in other non-mainstream media industries like retail shops amusement parks and property development. Companies that do not have the diversified outreach might not be able to remain economically viable in the current business landscape. The model allows diversified institutions to maximise profit channels so that a movie for example would be able to spawn a soundtrack, a book, and merchandise, and possibly spin-off TV shows, CD-ROMs, video games and amusement park rides. In the 2003 article titled The Nine Firms That Dominate the World, Robert McChesney noted the following top-five media conglomerates have dominated the industry through this model. These companies that control worldwide media businesses annually worth between 10 and 25 billion dollars are News Corporation, Viacom, Disney, Time Warner and Bertelsmann. The four other companies that make up the top nine tier are TCI, a cable company with interest in worldwide media ventures; General Electric (GE), the Parent company of NBC; Sony, the Japanese manufacturer of electrical components who control Columbia and Tri-Star Pictures as well as Sony Music INC a world-leading record label; and finally Seagram who own Universal Studios and a music label.#p#分页标题#e#The second tier global media conglomerates consists of less than 100 media companies that control media related business worth between 1 and 8 billion per year. These firms tend to have national or regional strongholds or to specialize in global niche markets like business or trade publishing. A vast majority of them come from North America, including the likes of Westinghouse (CBS), the New York Times Co., Hearst, Comcast and Gannett. Most of the rest come from Western Europe (Thomson Reuters, Pearson, Prisa, Mediaset and Reed Elseiver), East Asia and Latin America where the rest specialise in domestic productions nonetheless with financial outreach and abilities to conduct business on a global scale when necessary. Like some of the companies in the top-tier, these institutions are also results of mergers and acquisitions. In the UK for example, Fourth Estate which was an independent publishing firm was sold to HarperCollins in 2000 (Kirkpatrick, 2000a), and the Bertelsmann the German TV giants have pioneered the domination of European terrestrial television market by three of the five firms which sit in the top tier (Reed,2000). In New Zealand, commercial radio broadcasting, publishing and pay television industries are controlled by Rupert Murdoch and Tony O'Reilly. Practically it can be seen that the major offerings of the world's ‘film production, TV show production, cable channel ownership, cable and satellite system ownership, book publishing, magazine publishing and music production services are provided by these firms and the first nine in the top tier dominate many of these sectors' (McChesney, 2003). Although there appear as competitors for global audience, these companies sign joint venture between themselves where they segment ownership of specific areas of business with their competitors in return for mutual business favours. The implication of this is a significant decline in competition. All the nine top tier media conglomerates are locked in various joint ventures with roughly three or four of the other companies in their category. These trends create considerable doubts about the existence of true media pluralism and existence of healthy market competition.Motion Picture Association of America which represents audio-visual media industries like the Hollywood films and TV studios can be said to have gone global in the scope of their commercial operations. They own and control many business concerns that either distribute their films or show their produced contents in cinemas and theatres all around America. From the analysis of the companies shown above, it can be seen that the major players in Hollywood have gone global and critics of globalisation have been watching closely to see if the films produced by Sony for example would have been influenced by the Japanese culture rather than the Americans. Universal studios were sold to Vivendi of France, which also had trouble absorbing it, leading to a major internal conflict in 2002 within Vivendi over how far to globalize .Record companies are similarly structures except that they have a more diverse set of originsand an even more international ownership. Major recording companies are based in Great Britain (Thorn), the Netherlands (Philips), Germany (Bertelsmann-BMG), and Japan (Sony). These companies have consolidated across borders. Philips now own Polygram (formerly of the United Kingdom), and Vivendi-Universal now owns RCA (formerly of the United States), and Vivendi-Universal now owns MCA (formerly of Matsushita-Japan, originally U.U.), and AOL Time Warner owns EMI (formerly of Great Britain). Most of these companies also have large foreign branches that often produce and distribute records within other markets as well as distribute American and European music. As record companies have also been acquired by multinational companies, these firms have become more global and less national in characters. Still, there are some important distinctions in the ways that various media are organized around the worldIn summary, it is safe to conclude that the media companies are increasing their size and reach by way of mergers and acquisitions as well as joint ventures reducing the number of media enterprises that own and control the majority of media services production and distribution. Consumers also have a part to play in the spread of global media activity due to a significant increase in time and money spent in media consumptions. Also, due to technological innovations and convergence, media conglomerates are able to diversify their media products and create an integrated media industry (Croteau and Hoynes, 2001). Most of these enterprises have extended operations beyond media businesses to other non-media services such as retail.Media Concentration in EuropeAs obtained in the United States, the European media was largely organised within national contexts and one of the primary reasons why this was so in Europe was the existence of language and cultural differences between countries which limited the demand for cultural exports and this meant that advertising had to be adapted to suit national markets making it thereby raising overhead cost of advertising. The rise of the global media oligopolies has not been restricted to the American market; it has been exported and now adopted by the brokers in European media markets. A 2004 report by the European Union on media concentration noted that the domination by transnational global enterprises of specific markets has made it difficult to implement national media regulatory laws and ordinances which preserver competitive viability of the internal market. In Europe, the national media markets were dominated by public service broadcasters (PSBs) whose operations remained within their local countries. Each country had a vibrant market with sufficient opportunities for growth and expansion and tight government regulation meant there was only partial market liberalisation with heavy taxes and levies on media companies. Also high costs or and scarcity of media distribution channels or broadcasting frequencies also served as a filter to media concentration (European Council, 2004).All of these have changed significantly and European broadcasting markets have become more liberalised reducing the challenges associated with launching private television channels in certain countries. The economic cooperation between the European Union has removed custom fees and excise taxes making it easier for broadcasters to operate in other countries although subject to the regulations of the host nation state. There are renewed opportunities for an unrestricted flow of cultural and media products allowing corporations to expand their productions due to an increase in demand. A saturation of national media markets also has reduced the instances of growth mergers and expansion. Also developments in the quality of localised media content such as TV shows, soaps and reality TV programmes has made European countries more receptive of media products. Advertisers have also increased their expenditure on transnational campaigns with the aim to reach a larger proportion of European citizenry and take advantage of the open European community market. In the area of technology, there has been a boost in broadcasting frequency availability due to the rise of digitisation. Developments in satellite, cable and terrestrial digital technology allow a larger number of channels to be transmitted simultaneously. Another improvement in media and communication technology means broadcasting companies are able to use the internet and broadband architecture (European Council, 2004).One major company that has been the foremost player in European media market is the Bertelsmann group which has interests in Television and publishing sectors and has spread its outreach into Eastern Europe.New International the parent company of British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) also controls interests in America, Asia, the United Kingdom and more recently Italy. Another German conglomerate Springer has dealings in publishing and they are replicating this model as they expand across Eastern Europe. Another conglomerate that has achieved a reasonable share in the Central and Easter European press market is Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ), another German publishing enterprise. Central EuropeanMediaEnterprises (CME), a Bermudan company are the owners of eight TV stations in five Central and Eastern European countries. All across Europe,‘strategic allianceshave been made between giant media groups keen to exploit its newly liberalised commercial broadcasting markets. Thus, Berlusconi'sFininvest supported the Kirch/Springergroup in Germany and acquired stakes in French and Spanish private commercial broadcasting as well. Germany's public telecoms operator,Deutsche Telekom, took a stake in the highly successful LuxembourgAstrasatellite television company. The Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Television (CLT) acquired stakes in commercial broadcasting operations in Germany, France and the Benelux countries' (Humphreys, 1995).In order to properly analyse the nature of multinational media concentration in Europe, it is ideal to consider each media industry on its own and the economic structure, political and social, cultural and linguistic set up of the particular country being examined as they differ from one European nation state to the other. Media consumption in Europe remains high and is increasing in all sectors of new media. According to the 2004 European council report titled: ‘Transnational media concentrations in Europe' the daily statistics of media contact among citizens show that 97 % of Europeans watched television, 60 % listened to the radio and 46 % read a newspaper every day. The creation and availability of new media increases total media use, but television remains the medium that takes up most of the time. Europeans watch television between 2.5 and 4 hours a day, many use the Internet to a similar extent. However, a large part of the time is spent on content produced in one's own language and country.#p#分页标题#e#There is a distinction between ownership patterns in Western and Eastern Europe. The predominance of foreign ownership in different media sector markets across Europeshows different patterns in Western Europe (i.e. the 15 EU Member states) and in EasternEurope, including the 10 new Member states. Sánchez-Tabernero and Carvajal (2002) showthat different media delivery systems exhibit different patterns in foreign or transnationalmedia ownership. In the European Union, new communication technology platforms showthe highest rate of penetration of foreign capital or international multimedia companies andtheir joint ventures.In cable delivery, the three major groups are NTL Inc., UPC/ UGC Europe, and CallahanAssociates / Cable Partners, all with US ownership.Radio is still the mass medium with the least foreign or commercial ownership, i.e. the largestaudience market shares are obtained by public radio stations.Although the press sector in Western Europe still remains predominantly national, in Centraland Eastern Europe it is largely dominated by foreign media owners. Companies fromWestern Europe (e.g. WAZ, Axel Springer, etc.) expanded their operations in the 1990's,mainly by investing in existing media companies (the WAZ model usually includes a 50%shares and the “golden vote” giving them decision making power in commercial matters), andthen expanding the number and type of publications. In Croatia, WAZ invested in this way atthe end of the 1990's in the Croatian media company, Europa Press Holding, publisher of thedaily Jutarnji list (around 30% daily newspaper audiences) and Globus, the leader on themarket of political weeklies. In the weekly magazine press, EPH holds some 50 per cent ofthe audience market. The first-ranked by circulation among the daily papers, Ve?ernji list,was acquired by Austrian Styria, with the result that around 70% of the daily newspapermarket goes to the media products owned by foreign companies. In Hungary, in 2001, 83%of the daily newspaper marked was owned by foreign investors. The Estonian dailynewspaper market is wholly dominated by foreign companies (54% by the Norwegiancompany Schibsted ASA, 46% the Swedish Bonnier Group)2.In commercial radio and television broadcasting in Central and Eastern Europe, it isAmerican, and not European (in the publishing sector it is mainly German, Austrian, andScandinavian companies) capital that predominates. Companies that have spread furthest inthis part of Europe are Central European Media Enterprises (CME), ScandinavianBroadcasting Corporation, and News Corp, owned by Rupert Murdoch, with a smaller number of stations (but public plans for expanding). The largest West European commercialbroadcasting company – RTL (89% owned by the global media company Bertelsmann, and 7% by WAZ), has recently expanded in Central Europe (in partnership with Croatiancompanies, it was awarded the second Croatian national commercial television concession in2003).Commercial offerings which are part of transnational media groups have neverthelesssignificant audiences in many European countries. The RTL Group, owned by Bertelsmann,has profitable television stations in ten European countries with audiences reaching 23-35 %in the four top countries. The Swedish MTG runs television stations in seven countries withnational audience shares up to 23 %. CME is present in four countries with large audiences(from 20 to 48 %), SBS is active in four countries with audience shares of between 6 and 13%, and News Corp. International is present in four countries, with the largest audiences inBulgaria and the UK. Programmes from neighbouring countries also have significantaudiences in spill-over areas.In the newspaper sector, national publishers are dominate in most Western Europeancountries (apart from Denmark, the UK and the French-speaking part of Belgium). In EasternEurope, the situation is the opposite because almost all daily press markets are dominated bycompanies with foreign ownership.Forms of transnational ownershipEconomic analysis of concentrationCauses of concentrationConcentration of ownership is a general economic trend which is also found in the mediasector. Media firms move into other countries when their home market is saturated, to attaincritical mass, to pool resources and to share risks. In several cases firms have turned to othercountries because the competition authorities refused to let them go ahead with a nationalmerger for fear that it would create a dominant position or a monopoly.Forms of transnational concentrationTransnational media concentration (TMC) is established when someone has obtained asubstantial ownership position within the media sector in more than one country. TMC can bestructured into three main categories, at least where traditional media is concerned:Ownership of media companies in many countries (broadcasters, newspapers etc). Theownership can be obtained by acquisitions, establishment of new companies or by beinggranted broadcasting licences or by internal growth.Overspill of broadcasting from broadcasters operating in one country into neighbouringcountries. It is not technologically possible to stop broadcasting signals at nationalborders. A certain overspill is therefore unavoidable. In many cases such broadcastingsignals are retransmitted to make them accessible to a wider audience than those who arecovered by the natural overspill.Pan-European broadcasting (mainly television).Broadcasting directed towards all or mostEuropean countries. Such broadcasting can have many language versions.Dominant positions can also be obtained on the Internet. However, whether such positionsshould be evaluated in a regional, national, transnational within Europe or global contextneeds careful consideration which is outside the scope of this report.Economic involvement abroadIn the media this involvement usually consists in the acquisition of all or part of a nationalmedia enterprise. It is worth noting that even a minority share can give control of the firm, forexample when the other partner is a financial concern or a providence fund, which is often thecase in Europe. Working with a partner in the country concerned helps to learn the nationalregulations and what the public expects.Economic involvement abroad also concerns firms providing services to the media, such aspress distribution (Hachette), advertising and cable networks.Cross-border or transfrontier servicesThese are services produced in one country and broadcast or disseminated in one or moreother countries where the producing company is not established. It is a form of exportactivity. In the printed press, these exports reflect the editors' desires to expand their sales byselling their publications abroad. The situation is less clear-cut where traditional broadcastingis concerned, as broadcasts can often be received abroad because radio waves do not stop atnational boundaries. Direct broadcasting to other countries, which used to be fairly limited,has now grown with satellite broadcasting and cable networks. The specificity of this kind ofbroadcasting lies in the fact that the scope for interference by national authorities is oftenlimited, having regard in particular to the principle of the free circulation of televisionservices across frontiers enshrined in the Council of Europe Convention on TransfrontierTelevision and the EU “Television Without Frontiers” Directive. One example is thecommercials broadcast in Switzerland by the German and French broadcasters Sat1 and M6;their purpose is to bring in higher revenues without having to provide any special content forthis market. The Internet also offers a form of transfrontier service where national sites areconsulted by large numbers of people in other countries.These transfrontier services are usually targeting those countries which share the samelanguage: the United Kingdom exporting to Ireland, France to Belgium and Switzerland,Germany to Austria and Switzerland. Exchanges are also possible between Scandinaviancountries with similar languages. Generally speaking publications and programmes in foreignlanguages are less widely disseminated.Acquisition of broadcasting rightsWhen broadcasters in different countries acquire the rights to the same films, series anddocumentaries, the result is a form of “upstream” concentration. Acquiring the rights to makeor broadcast certain types of programme, such as “Big Brother”, for example, falls into thiscategory, as do licences to publish free daily newspapers which have managed to make theirmark on the market (“Metro” and “240 Minutes”, for example).Consequences of transnational concentrationThe risk of distorting competition to the detriment of small national publishers andBroadcastersMeasures taken by large firms can undermine their rivals' activities and even force them outof business, in various ways, especially much smaller firms. The danger is all the greaterwhen the firm is vertically integrated and has a transnational activity. It can deny access toplatforms or offer unfavourable rates or slots to its competitors. The acquisition of exclusivebroadcasting rights for several countries can hurt broadcasters in the countries concerned bydepriving them of attractive content that might otherwise boost their ratings on their homemarket.#p#分页标题#e#Weakening of public service broadcastersTheir status prevents public service broadcasters from expanding their activities abroad,placing them at the mercy of major foreign broadcasters active in several countries. Whereforeign broadcasters acquire exclusive broadcasting or advertising rights for several countries,national authorities are not always able to defend the interests of their public servicebroadcasters, making it more difficult for them to fulfil their public service mission. It shouldnot be forgotten that public broadcasters in small countries have to face competition frommajor foreign channels with budgets ten times larger than theirs.The particular situation in central and eastern EuropeThe shift from a planned to a liberal economy has deeply affected the media in thesecountries. American and European groups have swiftly taken over from the state-run media,launching western-style publications and television channels. These firms are now so wellestablished that the new businessmen in these countries who have been prepared for the freemarket economy are finding it difficult to carve out a place for themselves on their ownmarkets. The situation in these countries is so unusual that it merits a separate study.An increasingly commercial approach to programmesTransnational concentration mainly involves large groups competing fiercely for their shareof markets where business potential still exists. In order to win the confidence of advertisers,their sole source of income, they have to have good ratings, so they show programmes thatappeal to the largest possible audience, sometimes pandering to poor taste, which is perhaps not what one expects of a broadcaster.It should be noted, however, that in addition to the major commercial channels, a largenumber of theme channels exist today which make a valuable contribution to opinion formingand culture in general. The main drawback is that, for technical reasons, these channels arenot yet available. With the development of digital broadcasting, audiences thirsting forpolitics and culture will have a wider choice alongside the purely commercial programmes.Thoughts on the effects of media concentration on competitionAssessing power on the marketThe notion of “power on the market” must be distinguished from that of “dominant position”.One feature of transnational concentration is that a firm can win power at the European levelthanks to its power to negotiate broadcasting and advertising rights, but without becomingdominant in its market. Furthermore, legislation governing competition does not condemnpower as such but only its abuse. The authorities are often powerless against dominantpositions that are the result of internal growth in dynamic businesses (Microsoft is anexample), or when firms are left in a dominant position because their competitors go out ofbusiness. In a market economy, we must not penalise firms that have become powerfulbecause they are more dynamic than their competitors.When measuring media concentration at the European level, we observe that monopolysituations arise more frequently in smaller countries, at least regarding national television.This is because on such small markets there is often not enough room for two operators largeenough to be commercially viable because of insufficient advertising resources.Economic competition and journalistic competitionEconomic competition is waged between firms which are economically and legallyindependent of one another. Journalistic competition can occur non only between differentfirms but also between independent editorial teams within the same group, provided that theyhave been granted editorial status. The competition authorities are interested only in economiccompetition, whereas journalistic competition is very important in assessing pluralism.