6. Yes. The government hasn’t won a vertical merger case in decades. According to the Department of Justice’s own review guidelines, “vertical mergers” between content owners like Time Warner and distributors like AT&T are much less worrisome than horizontal ones. Meanwhile, the Fang companies — Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — now dominate the digital entertainment landscape, which makes the government’s argument that the merger of two old-media firms would fundamentally alter competition even harder to make.
In truth, slower growth of about 8 per cent could be better for China and for the world. More environmentally sustainable and equitable outcomes would ease popular concerns and higher consumption would ease tensions over global trade.