Who Owns the Online Media?

45 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2021

See all articles by Ulrich Matter

Ulrich Matter

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research

Philine Widmer

University of St.Gallen

Date Written: November 22, 2021

Abstract

We examine the ownership structure and reach of thousands of news websites in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. By combining data on domain registrants, firm ownership, and domain-level web traffic, we draw detailed ownership networks behind news domains. We find that more than half of these websites have one ultimate owner. Otherwise, they tend to have highly diversified ownership structures, making it non-transparent as to who is ultimately responsible for the content. Moreover, the market concentration for online news is moderate to high and varies substantially across countries. Financial industry firms ultimately own substantial shares in the online news market.

Keywords: mass media, internet, media ownership, market concentration, news domains

JEL Classification: D72, L82, L86

Suggested Citation

Matter, Ulrich and Widmer, Philine, Who Owns the Online Media? (November 22, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3969253 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3969253

Ulrich Matter

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research ( email )

Bodanstrasse 8
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

Philine Widmer (Contact Author)

University of St.Gallen ( email )

Bodanstrasse 8
SIAW-HSG
St.Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

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