Three Senate Democrats have asked for a federal study into the impact of media consolidation. Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) have requested that the General Accountability Office (GAO) assess the effects of media consolidation and whether media gatekeepers have excessive power over radio, TV, the Internet and newspapers.
In the letter, the Senators write, "It is important that we understand the current media environment, the reasons for the drastic decrease in independent programming, and the impact government laws and regulations have on the media industry." They added that the GAO report should study certain, specific areas; including whether the sources of programming that media outlets distribute, the impact of consolidation on independent outlets and whether traditional media companies dominate the Web.