Verizon and Charter Test the M&A Waters

January 26th, 2017 by · 15 Comments

Yes, that's the rumor of the morning.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon Communications and Charter Communications are talking about some sort of deal.  Of course, it's just talk at the moment, and preliminary talk at that.  The question is how seriously we should take the idea.

The combination of one the country's largest incumbent telecommuncations and wireless operators with the second largest cable operators is something that I think would not even have been considered before Trump won the election.  The prospect of such a deal winning regulatory approval under a Democratic administration would have been rather bleak.  But under the new administration, it is perhaps not so clear.

Verizon is busy right now buying Yahoo! as it seeks more content to balance its wireless and FIOS businesses, although just what the various hacking revelations will mean for that deal also remains unclear.  Meanwhile Charter has spent the last year integrating itself with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, the deal for which only closed last May.

If someone had said a few years ago that Verizon, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Bright house Networks, Yahoo, and AOL might soon all be combined into one entity, well let's just say that they might not have been taken terribly seriously (or worse). But I still don't believe it will actually happen.

Not yet anyway.  Rather, I see this as perhaps a trial balloon by Verizon to see which way the wind is blowing for something like this.

 

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Categories: Cable · ILECs, PTTs · Mergers and Acquisitions

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15 Comments So Far


  • mhammett says:

    Sounds terrible.

  • Fibermancer says:

    The big issue in bigger mergers is customer base and geography, and I don’t think it should be overlooked that Verizon’s last remaining ILEC business does overlap with Charter’s in a very major market – NEW YORK! Even with a more merger tolerant FCC, that’s a very big hurdle, IMO.

    • Fibermancer says:

      To clarify, if Charter and VZ merged, New York City’s ILEC and MSO would be one in the same with no other options but one of the few CLECs, which may be OK in Manhattan, but isn’t nearly as workable in the outer boroughs or upper NY State.

  • Anonymous says:

    If the DoJ/FCC let this go through, say hello to Cartel America as there will be no industry that will stay competitive if everyone can merge competition out of business (we’re pretty close now, but this will be the final nail)

    • mhammett says:

      Support your local independent. Help them get a big anchor customer or some MDUs.

      A financially solid independent ensures a competitive tomorrow.

  • Anonymous says:

    Trust me this is not about the Fios Assets. This is about our new administration. De-regulation ,rolling back net neutrality. If this even has a shot of moving forward, the flood gates will be kicked open. Not good for the industry.

    • mhammett says:

      If Net Neutrality is being rolled back, I see nothing but blue skies ahead.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah I am not sure what the fear for “the industry” would be either. De-reg is likely to cause a whole new flood of new providers unencumbered by all the BS. Perhaps like the 93 telco act, except this time it will be all about the software and OTT to render the incumbents even more useless than they already are.

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