Verizon reported to be mulling deal with Charter | Media Investment | Business
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Respected US financial news outlets are suggesting that US communications giant Verizon is investigating a combination with Charter Communications, one of the country’s leading cable companies.

verizon logoAccording to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam reportedly has made an overture to Charter officials. However, the WSJ’s sources said that it’s unclear whether Verizon is interested in a mega-merger, or creating a joint venture.

The Reuters agency meanwhile said that Charter is one of many possible acquisition targets and that talks with the cableco are preliminary and may not result in a deal. Charter of course is in the middle of the integration of Time Warner Cable, its recently closed merger that has catapulted it to become the No 2 cable MSO in the US, behind Comcast. Verizon is a much smaller player in terms of TV service, but there is significant market overlap in the Northeast between the two, especially in New York City — meaning that antitrust examinations are likely to be rigorous. Similarly, both Verizon and Charter are major ISPs in the Northeast.

Charter and Verizon have declined to comment publicly on the deal rumours.

It should be noted that the telco giant still has a pending $4.8 billion acquisition agreement in place with Yahoo. However, Yahoo’s recent data breach involving 500 million accounts has led to speculation that Verizon might walk away from the table, or ask for considerably less.

“I think the market is predictably impatient and wants Verizon to do something yesterday,” said Craig Moffett, an analyst at MoffettNathanson. “The market inevitably draws the comparison to AT&T that, for better or worse, has made its big strategic bet.”

Meanwhile AT&T’s planned $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc is facing regulatory scrutiny, and questions remain as to whether it will gain approval from the FCC and the Department of Justice.
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