Updates on three proposed mergers, one going to court, one consensual, and one not so much:
AT&T and Time Warner are girding themselves for a longer battle against government regulators. The two have agreed to waive the right to terminate the original merger agreement through June 18, extending it another 8 weeks or so. There was no way the court challenge to the proposed merger would be resolved by then, although IMHO it’s pretty unlikely 8 weeks is going to be enough either. Meanwhile, the judge has denied a request by Disney and Fox to keep more details of their businesses hidden when the trial comes. The two companies think that data they’ve given to the DOJ could make its way to AT&T/DirecTV.
Deutsche Telekom is adding some wireline muscle in Austria. They have announced an agreement to buy the Austrian Cable operator UPC from Liberty Global for $2.25B. It’s DT’s third move to add a wireline component in markets where it has a mobile presence, with other moves recently in both Poland and the Netherlands. One wonders if/when they will decide to do something similar in the USA, where the recent merger talks with Sprint fell through but there may be willing dance partners also in the cable sector.
An the latest tidbit from Broadcom’s attempt to acquire Qualcomm, the latter’s board of directors has unsurprisingly decided against nominating the 11 candidates given by the former to replace its own members. Instead, Qualcomm’s board will be nominating its existing members to keep the status quo, saying that the proposed new slate of directors is ‘inherently conflicted’. The private equity group Silver Lake, which is a Broadcom investor, had helped recruit the nominees. This one is going to be an ongoing soap opera.
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