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Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into Warner Bros Discovery Merger

Lawmakers Call For Investigation Into Warner Bros Discovery Merger

Batgirl
Batgirl/Warner Bros Discovery

The cancelations of Batgirl and other nearly-finished products prompted the complaint.

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The cancelation spree embarked upon by Warner Bros, starting with Batgirl’s shocking shelving, may have earned the studio a little too much attention.

Four Congress Democrats are now calling for the Justice Department to revisit last year’s merger between Warner Bros and Discovery, citing the “numerous labor-force reductions and product cancellations” the company has enacted in such a short time.

An open letter to the DOJ specifically cites Batgirl, which was reportedly canceled for a tax write-off on the cusp of completion, and several TV series that have disappeared from the HBO Max platform as proof that the merger has contributed to limiting “consumer and worker choice.”

“Notably, WBD still has $3.5 billion in planned cuts—which does not bode well for workers,” the letter reads. “WBD’s aggressive measures post-merger indicate that current competition in the media and entertainment industry is inadequate. The company has the incentive and ability to eliminate broad swaths of its workforce, leaving workers with fewer choices for employment and advancement. The Department should investigate the competitive consequences of this merger.”

Mergers have become an increasing issue in Hollywood in recent years, and many have already been questioning why a number of these larger consolidations have been allowed to happen under current antitrust laws. But the WBD merger in particular has caused a tumultuous ripple effect, prompting a wave of other streamers and studios canceling nearly-completed shows and films at the last minute.

It isn’t immediately clear what an investigation into the merger could even accomplish at this point, although increased scrutiny into the practice could possibly prevent another similarly large merger from taking place in the near future.

The letter can be read in its entirety here.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.