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The Cable Merger World Churns

There was a report that Verizon tried to buy Charter for about $100B. It was rejected for being too low.

The other rumor is that Altice which bought Cablevision and Suddenlink is looking at a nearly $2B IPO and will use those proceeds to buy Cox. But that may not happen because Charter now wants to buy Cox.

John Malone, the pioneer cable consolidator, has been all about consolidating cable, telco and wireless. His Liberty Interactive just acquired Alaska’s GCI for $1B. There is noise that he would flip that to Charter. Cox plus Bright House plus TWC plus Charter plus GCI gives a 49 state footprint and would make that entity bigger than Comcast.

Charter was fined by New York State $13 million for not living up to its merger agreement. The rest of us are enjoying newer, higher pricing.

Meanwhile Comcast is being sued for cutting a small Texas ISP’s lines and putting them out of business after they rebuffed an offer to be acquired by Comcast.

Just to add some notes, a bunch of Senators asked the DOJ to “closely scrutinize AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Wamer.” It won’t change the course of this consolidation.

As 5G rolls out — or 4G gets density to satisfy the bandwidth consumption of mobile Americans, you pick — it will require a lot of fiber to towers and small cells. The editor opinion on Fierce makes it sound like the cellcos weren’t hard nosed negotiators before now. Sheesh. There has always been a cap on how much a cellco would pay for bandwidth to a tower. Always.

Nearly 25% of Urban Americans aren’t connected to broadband internet, usually due to cost for broadband. And despite the fact that Americans pay more for broadband than other countries, Wall Street is asking the ISPs to charge more. Greed.

The divide between rural broadband and urban is still large. The short fall at the USF Fund isn’t helping. The telcos, including AT&T, want that funding to do any build outs. A political hot potato to add to the pile with Net Neutrality, mergers, healthcare and the whole American infrastructure (bridges, roads, power grid).

Bigger not Better.

Who thinks that the CenturyLink acquisition of Level3 will be derailed by the $12B lawsuit that C-Link is facingin the wake of charges that they pulled a Wells Fargo accounting scam?

One last thing: GTCR acquired Inteliquent. GTCR also owns Onvoy. They merged them and decided to keep the name Inteliquent.

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