Ever since an openly business-friendly administration stepped into the White House, analysts and investors have been pushing for Verizon to merge with a cable/internet giant like Comcast or Charter. And the telecom titan’s CEO has even indicated his interest in a corporate marriage of convenience with a massive cable or media company. But now the company says it has no immediate plans to wed.
Verizon has “moved on” from trying to acquire or be acquired by one of the big cable companies, CEO Lowell McAdam told a crowd of investors and money-men at a confernece this week, Bloomberg reports.
Despite already being the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., and having a massive, sprawling, critical copper and fiber network over giant swaths of the country, Verizon has been desperately flinging itself at cable suitors all year long.
In April, McAdam made it clear that he wanted to talk merger, and he wasn’t picky, saying that he’d be happy to discuss terms with Comcast, Charter, or even a media-side company like Disney.
A couple of months later, news dribbled out that Verizon had actually tried to make a play for Charter, but Charter said no. It wasn’t that Charter’s wholly uninterested — it, too, has been considering more mergers this year — but rather that Verizon’s $100 billion offer reportedly wasn’t nearly enough.
Bloomberg also notes that merging with a cable company right now might be kind of pointless for a company as well-positioned in the wireless world as Verizon is. Comcast and Charter are both slowly trying to pivot away from strict pay-TV, and even home wired broadband, and instead are heading into the mobile space.
Streaming TV is up, 5G is on the horizon — and while consumers, by and large, think their mobile carriers are okay, they still really hate their cable companies. So perhaps giving up on cable dreams is indeed the smarter thing for Verizon to do.