This entry discusses how and why many communication and media companies have become conglomerates, diversified corporations that are involved in multiple aspects of the industry. The processes involved in developing communication goods and services can be usefully arranged along a vertical timeline, moving from command over raw materials and equipment at the top, through production, marketing, and distribution, to the final point of delivery to audiences and users at the bottom. Around this line, corporations can expand in one of three directions.

Firstly, they can move to acquire interests operating at the same point on the line, a strategy known as horizontal integration. Already a newspaper proprietor in Australia, Rupert Murdoch set out to expand his newspaper interests in 1969 by purchasing the Sun in Britain, ...

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