Displaying items by tag: merger

T-mobile and Sprint merger gets green light

Written on Thursday, 13 February 2020 12:52

T-Mobile and Sprint have said they were taking the final steps to complete a tie-up that reshapes the US wireless industry after a federal court overturned an antitrust challenge.

The decision by US District Judge Victor Marrero rejecting a challenge from New York, California and other states is expected to allow the third- and fourth-largest mobile carriers to complete their merger around April 1, the companies said.

The two firms said in a statement they were "now taking final steps to complete their merger to create the New T-Mobile."

The combined firm with have more than 100 million customers, claiming the scale to compete with larger wireless rivals Verizon and AT&T.

"Today was a huge victory for this merger," said T-Mobile chief executive John Legere, who will head the combined firm before stepping down in May.

"The New T-Mobile will be... great for consumers and great for competition."

The states had filed the suit last June, seeking to block a proposed $26 billion tie-up they argued would cause "irreparable harm" leading to higher costs that would price out low-income consumers.

The judge said however he was "not persuaded" by the contention that the new company would pursue anticompetitive behavior after the deal.

T-Mobile, controlled by Germany's Deutsche Telekom, will hold a majority stake in the new firm after the tie-up with Sprint, which is controlled by Japan's SoftBank.

Backers of the deal have argued that combining T-Mobile and Sprint will create a strong number three US wireless carrier behind Verizon and AT&T, with the resources to invest in 5G, or fifth-generation, networks.

Critics contended it would leave consumers with fewer choices, and lead to higher prices.

"This outcome puts consumers at risk," said John Bergmayer of the consumer activist group Public Knowledge.

"It is more clear than ever that we need strengthened regulatory oversight of the communications industry to protect competition and consumer rights, as well as improvements to our antitrust laws."

Avery Gardiner, a competition fellow with the Center for Democracy & Technology, said on Twitter that mergers that leave just three competitors "are almost always bad for consumers" and "almost always blocked because they 'substantially lessen competition.'"

The deal was approved by federal regulators, contingent on the divestment of Sprint's prepaid division Boost Mobile to the satellite broadcast group Dish, which will begin building a new national wireless network.

Shares of Sprint surged 73 percent on the news while T-Mobile jumped 11.3 percent.

T-Mobile has said the deal would give it the resources needed to invest more in 5G and in-home broadband compete with "Big Cable" firms.

Some analysts have suggested that the final deal may be revalued lower as a result of changing market conditions since it was announced in 2018.

Walter Piecyk and Joe Galone of Lightshed Partners said Sprint may be worth less than the original $26 billion.

"We have repeatedly expressed our view that T-Mobile should renegotiate the price of the deal with Sprint based on the longer than expected approval process and the worse than expected erosion in Sprint's business," the analysts said in a research note.

Published in Telecom Operators

Telecom Italia in talks with Open Fiber about potential merger

Written on Thursday, 23 January 2020 11:28

Telecom Italia today confirmed that it has been in talks with Italian network provider, Open Fiber, to potentially merge and initiate a full fiber network rollout.

The discussions have been ongoing between the two companies since June 2019. Back then, the Italian government made it clear that they would prefer it if one operator would provide the country with fiber optic networks.

Late last year, Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s deputy Prime Minister said, “We are working to set the conditions in order to create a single player to distribute internet and broadband.”

In reference to the potential merge between the two entities, CEO of Telecom Italia, Luigi Gubitosi said that the talks are still ongoing and that “in life there is always a plan B”.

In order for the merge to happen, a few factors need to be considered. Open Fiber is owned by Enel, the Italian utility provider and renowned Italian Investment bank Cass Depositi e Prestiti. Due to this, for a merge to take place between the two, Telecom Italia would have to buy out Enel’s stake.

When asked about negotiations with Open Fiber at an industry event earlier this week, Gubitosi stated, “Funds have shown an interest in investing, even at valuations that could appear aggressive.”

Published in Reports

Gobind positive about planned Telenor, Axiata merger

Written on Monday, 08 July 2019 11:36

The hype surrounding the highly anticipated merger plan between Malaysia’s Axiata Group Bhd and Norway’s Telenor Group seems to have lost traction since the plan was first announced in May, due in fact to the Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo’s statement that the potential partnership is still very much at the proposal stage.

Published in Telecom Operators

The $26 billion merger deal between US telecommunication operators T-Mobile US and Sprint has received the backing of a key official at the US communications regulator FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

Published in Telecom Operators

Consumer watchdog blasts proposed merger of US operators

Written on Thursday, 07 February 2019 10:17

A leading US consumer watchdog has voiced their concerns regarding the details of the proposed merger agreement between mobile operators T-Mobile US and Sprint.

Published in Telecom Operators

US operator suffers drop in its revenue as it prepares for 5G

Written on Tuesday, 05 February 2019 08:13

US telecommunications operator Sprint has posted a disappointing performance in its financial returns for Q4 in 2018.

Published in Telecom Operators

The US government has confirmed that the proposed merger deal between telecommunication operators T-Mobile US and Sprint will undergo a forensic examination in an effort to determine whether or not the deal represents the best interests of consumers.

Published in Telecom Operators

The parent company of Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, Discovery Communications, is forking out $14.6 billion, or $90 per share, based on Discovery’s Friday, July 21 closing price, to purchase Scripps Networks, the parent company of the Food Network and Travel Channel. The deal will combine two major US television companies, further consolidating the media industry. The transaction is expected to close by early 2018.

Discovery and Scripps combined share an estimated 20 percent of ad-supported television viewership in the United States. The benefit of combining, the companies said, is that it would allow them to compete better against online options, such as Netflix and Amazon, which are quickly gaining popularity.

Additionally, the combined company will be home to five of the top pay-TV networks for women and will account for over 20% share of women watching primetime pay-TV in the U.S. Discovery sees strong opportunities to strengthen its existing global female networks with select content from Food Network, HGTV and all the Scripps brands.

Cable television companies face falling subscriber numbers, and to compete with platforms like Netflix, are releasing their own online platforms, and also cheaper television packages with fewer channels, to entice viewership.

“This is an exciting new chapter for Discovery. Scripps is one of the best run media companies in the world with terrific assets, strong brands and popular talent and formats.  Our business is about great storytelling, authentic characters and passionate super fans,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications.

“We believe that by coming together with Scripps, we will create a stronger, more flexible and more dynamic media company with a global content engine that can be fully optimized and monetized across our combined networks, products and services in every country around the world,” Zaslav added.

Kenneth W. Lowe, Chairman, President & CEO, Scripps Networks Interactive, said, “Through the passion and dedication of our incredible employees, and with the support of the Scripps family, we have built a lifestyle content company that touches the lives of consumers every single day. This agreement with Discovery presents an unmatched opportunity for Scripps to grow its leading lifestyle brands across the world and on new and emerging channels including short-form, direct-to-consumer and streaming platforms.”

The combination will extend Scripps’ brands, programming and talent to a broader international audience through Discovery’s global distribution, sales and languaging infrastructure.  Scripps also has a strong position in key international growth markets, including the U.K. and Poland, and will help fuel Discovery’s existing content pipeline in growth areas like Discovery’s Home and Health network in Latin America.

Discovery’s added scale, content engine and multiple brand offerings will present a compelling opportunity for new digital distribution partners, including mobile, OTT, and direct-to-consumer platforms and offerings.

Moffett Nathanson analysts told the BBC there could be advantages for Discovery following the merger, but the long-term issues faced by the companies probably won’t go away: "While there will likely be ample cost synergies, international revenue opportunities and improved relative scale, we don't think this merger will fundamentally alter the long-term prospects of these companies."

There was talk of the two companies combining in 2014, and more recently when Scripps fielded interest from Viacom, the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and the Paramount film studio. But after considering the options, Scripps decided the best option was to merge with Discovery.

Published in Finance

US telecom giant AT&T made several executive appointments in late July in preparation for completing its acquisition of Time Warner Inc., the global media and entertainment leader with HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros. The transaction is currently under review by the United States Department of Justice and competition authorities in certain foreign countries.  

Effective August 1, new executives will assume new positions and will continue to report to AT&T Inc. Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. “We look forward to completing the deal and delivering for customers the many benefits of this merger,” said Stephenson.

John Stankey, previously CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, will assume the lead of AT&T’s Time Warner Merger Integration Planning Team. He will work closely with Time Warner Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes to plan for a smooth leadership transition to Stankey as CEO of AT&T’s media company once the merger is complete.

Previously Chief Strategy Officer and Group President of AT&T Technology Operations, John Donovan was named CEO of AT&T Communications, once the merger is complete, which includes AT&T’s Business Solutions, Entertainment Group, and Technology & Operations groups.

In addition, Lori Lee, who previously led AT&T’s Time Warner Merger Integration Team, will assume leadership with AT&T International, and maintain her responsibilities as Global Marketing Officer.

AT&T provides mobile, broadband and video services to US-based consumers and serves nearly 3.5 million businesses, from the smallest companies to nearly all the Fortune 1000. The company provides mobile services to more than 13 million consumers and businesses in Mexico, and pay-TV service to more than 13 million subscribers across 11 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean.  

Published in Telecom Operators

Irish telecommunications incumbent Eir has announced that it will ‘retire’ its mobile phone brand Meteor in September. Meteor has been a huge success since its inception in 2001, and has been particularly popular with the young generation of mobile phone users.

However, the mobile phone network will now be rebranded as ‘Eir’, which will see it join an existing mobile phone service provided by the company under the Eir name. Meteor has over 750,000 customers but the new merger will see Eir now have around 1.1 million mobile customers.

A spokesman for the Dublin-based telecommunications firm said that customers would benefit significantly from the rebranding, and assured customers that the transition from Meteor to Eir will be ‘seamless’. Eir, CEO, Richard Moat declared that the new merger decision would enable customers to explore a ‘world of possibilities’.

In a statement, the CEO said, "Meteor customers will continue using their mobiles exactly as before - with the added benefit of a world of possibilities. By focusing on a single mobile brand and reducing the duplication of supporting two brands, we can offer better value and increased innovation."

In addition to this, Meteor customers have received assurances that there will be no change to their current contract and data plans during the transition and rebranding process, whilst the current customer care lines will also remain intact.

Eir formerly known as Eircom acquired Meteor in 2005. It adopted an aggressive approach to marketing and advertising and a significant investment into both areas was subsequently made. Meteor sponsored a number of commercial events, including the Meteor Choice Awards.

The company is reported to be spending around €3m and €4m on its 'Let's make it possible' campaign and believes that the mobile phone business would be better served by benefiting from the lift provided by this campaign than separate marketing investment in Meteor.

It has also been claimed that Eir will begin to communicate the change to customers from this week onwards. The group has 84 retail units nationwide which is comprised of Eir, Meteor and dual branded stores that will all become part of the Eir franchise in the forthcoming months ahead.

Spokesman for Eir, Paul Bradley, said the decision to merge services clearly highlights and indicates the organization’s confidence in Eir. He said, "We have adopted a single brand strategy. You can get your bundle from Eir, your broadband from Eir, your TV from Eir and mobile from Eir. What it reflects is our growing confidence in the Eir brand. We are almost two years in from when the company launched the brand and there has been work to evolve the Meteor brand over the last couple of years because initially it was a youth brand and a pre-pay focused brand. But now it is a much healthier mix of prepay and bill pay."

Published in Telecom Operators
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