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Porn Now a Staple of Big Business

James Lacey

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Lured by easy profits, a surprising number of Fortune 1000 firms have entered the market and rapidly have begun to dominate all but the most lurid corners [of pornography].

DirecTV, which is owned by General Motors, brings in over $200 million a year through porn -- many times the earnings of porn king Larry Flynt, analysts say. Comcast, EchoStar Communications and AOL Time Warner, according to these analysts, also earn tens of millions a year pushing hard-core porn.

Wall Street insiders note that the combination of AT&T and Comcast will make the combined entity the largest purveyor of porn in the country. Cable, however, is not AT&T's only foray into porn. Together with MCI WorldCom, AT&T dominates the 1-900 phone-sex market. By allowing mostly lonely men to talk dirty to women, these two firms add almost $1 billion a year to their bottom line.

Large hotel chains such as Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton have welcomed the porn distributors. For the hoteliers it is found money. They take a substantial cut of the porn profits and there is no cost to them for providing it.

Credit-card companies, such as Visa, American Express and Mastercard, have not been shy about cutting themselves into this market. Estimates say that Internet-porn sites sell $3-4 billion worth of smut-related products annually. Over 90 percent of these transactions are made with credit cards. The logos of these credit-card firms litter Internet-porn sites, including many dedicated to scatology and bestiality. Total profits from enabling porn transactions total well over $500 million.

The demand for porn is not likely to be eliminated. But that does not mean great American companies have to crawl in the mud for a share of the smut-trade profits. That is particularly true considering that the distribution of obscenity still is illegal.

Read the entire article on the Insight Magazine website.



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