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Which Telecom Giants Will Merge Next?
WSJ once again rekindles AT&T/DirecTV merger rumor....
by Karl Bode 04:58PM Wednesday Sep 09 2009
The Wall Street Journal thinks consolidation will soon be back in vogue, especially after Comcast's recent legal victory against the FCC-imposed 30% TV viewer ownership cap. Without really any sourcing, the company throws out a slew of possible mergers and acquisitions, suggesting that Comcast could show eventual interest in Time Warner Cable and Verizon could buy Dish Network. The paper also trots out one of the oldest acquisition rumors in telecom history, AT&T's supposed interest in acquiring DirecTV:
If AT&T buys DirecTV, for instance, which could occur in just a few months given a pending reorganization of DirecTV's ownership, the resulting company would have at least 20 million TV subscribers and a national marketing power that cable operators can only dream of. One reason AT&T may be prompted to move soon is that buying DirecTV would mean it could reduce investment in its land-line TV service, U-Verse. That would allow it to invest more in adding capacity to its wireless phone network -- which is becoming overburdened with heavy iPhone users.
Of course the last thing AT&T needs is to further skimp on their terrestrial network investment -- their decision to milk copper with VDSL already has the telco struggling to keep pace with faster cable DOCSIS 3.0 offerings. The Journal cites antitrust lawyers who don't think the current regulatory climate will prevent additional mergers, particularly if the carriers don't directly compete. What's your vote for the next big telecom deal?

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