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In microeconomics and strategic management, the term horizontal integration describes a type of ownership and control. It is a strategy used by a business or corporation that seeks to sell a type of product in numerous markets. Horizontal integration in marketing is much more common than vertical integration is in production. Horizontal integration occurs when a firm is being taken over by, or merged with, another firm which is in the same industry and in the same stage of production as the merged firm, e.g. a car manufacturer merging with another car manufacturer. In this case both companies are in the same stage of production and also in the same industry. This process is also known as a "buy out" or "take-over". The goal of horizontal integration is to consolidate like companies and monopolize an industry.
A term that is closely related with horizontal integration is horizontal expansion. This is the expansion of a firm within an industry in which it is already active for the purpose of increasing its share of the market for a particular product or service.
Benefits of horizontal integration 
Horizontal integration allows:
Media terms 
Media critics, such as Robert McChesney, have noted that the current trend within the entertainment industry has been toward the increased concentration of media ownership into the hands of a smaller number of transmedia and transnational conglomerates. Media is seen to amass in centre where wealthy individuals have the ability to purchase such ventures (e.g. Rupert Murdoch).
Horizontal integration, that is the consolidation of holdings across multiple industries, has displaced the old vertical integration of the Hollywood studios. The idea of owning many media outlets, which run almost the same content, is considered to be very productive, since it requires only minor changes of format and information to use in multiple media forms. For example, within a conglomerate, the content used in broadcasting television would be used in broadcasting radio as well, or the content used in hard copy of the newspaper would also be used in online newspaper website.
What emerged are new strategies of content development and distribution designed to increase the “synergy’ between the different divisions of the same company. Studios seek content that can move fluidly across media channels.
- Thorburn, David and Jenkins, Henry (eds)(2002) Rethinking Media Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp.283.
- Thorburn, David and Jenkins, Henry (eds)(2003) Rethinking Media Change, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp.284.