The US Congress has demanded an investigation into Warner Bros. Discovery

The US Congress has demanded an investigation into Warner Bros. Discovery
Photo by Chris Liverani / Unsplash

Lawmakers accuse company of 'anti-competitive practices'
US senators have demanded a legal review of Warner Bros Discovery. A letter from four Democratic lawmakers in the US Congress calls for the Justice Department to investigate Warner Bros. after the merger.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, House of Representatives member Joaquin Castro, House of Representatives member David Cicilline and House of Representatives member Pramila Jayapal signed the letter, highlighting the steps taken by Warner Bros. Discovery after the merger was completed, stating that it was "detrimental to the workers and creative employees of the national media and entertainment industry". The cancellation of the distribution of the film Batgirl is cited as an example.

The letter addressed to the Attorney General also mentioned other decisions taken by WBD, which allegedly harmed both employees and end consumers. For example, WBD "shut down 68 projects meant to be shown on HBO Max". This means that "some content is no longer available for streaming, rental or purchase on other platforms, and consumers no longer have access to the content they expected when they paid for their HBO Max contracts."

"The damage to content creators whose projects are cancelled during development and post-production cannot be overstated.... WBD's de facto behaviour amounts to a 'catch and kill' practice that greatly limits consumer choice."

What are US lawmakers demanding of Warner Bros Discovery?

The letter concludes by asking the Justice Department to "take another hard look" at the Warner Bros. Discovery and post-transaction actions." The investigation could "form the basis for updating the merger guidelines to ensure that they reflect the needs of workers, consumers and content creators in the media and entertainment industry."