Verizon to buy giant cable operator Comcast?
With AT&T discovering some synergies between its wireless operation and DirecTV, especially in sales, there is now talk about Verizon picking up Comcast in what would be a huge multi-billion dollar transaction. Comcast has been trying to get into the business of providing wireless service to mobile devices. The company actually was rumored to start up an MVNO this year using Big Red’s network and 15 million Wi-Fi hotspots. But now, the latest rumor indicates a big shift in Comcast’s and Verizon’s thinking.
Verizon Chief Executive Lowell McAdam reportedly told friends at CES earlier this month that he has an interest in buying a cable outfit. One tipster says that Verizon will need Comcast’s cable operations to help it with the launch of 5G wireless service. McAdam could be up to his neck in work as he decides what to do about Verizon’s deal to buy Yahoo for $4.8 billion. Considering that as many as 1 billion Yahoo accounts have been hacked, McAdam has a serious decision to make about whether he wants to close the deal, at least at the current price.
Speaking of prices, Comcast is currently valued at $173 billion, which means that it will take a ton of cash to make this purchase. If Verizon wants cable, but doesn’t want to spend so much money, the nation’s largest carrier can go after cable firm Charter Communications; the latter sports a market cap of $81.64 billion, less than half Comcast’s valuation.
Despite the rumors, Verizon is supposedly not in talks with any cable company at the moment.