The election is over and Donald Trump is the winner and that means a whole new set of rules when it comes to rulings on acquisitions and the major carriers working with the new administration. John Stephens, the CFO of AT&T, who are currently in the process of trying to acquire Time Warner for $85.4 billion, was noted today saying that they (AT&T) are looking forward to working with Trump’s transition team. Stephens positioned AT&T as a large investor in the US and how they were looking for ways of “providing benefits to our customers and shareholders.”
However, reports this morning note that AT&T and Time Warner shares had slipped in price. AT&T was down 1.2-percent and Time Warner was down 3.1-percent. These drops show there are real concerns as to whether this deal will ever happen under a Trump administration. Trump has already been accredited with stating that the AT&T/Time Warner deal was an example of “too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” Trump also said it was not a deal that helped the American people, but just gave more power to AT&T. Even Bernie Sanders has been noted raising a red flag concerning this merger.
However, the issues for carriers are not resigned to just AT&T. Sprint CEO, Marcelo Claure, was recently reported to have held a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton and saying that Trump was “just too risky.” Now that Trump is going to be the next President, it will be interesting to see how Sprint is treated in any mergers they may want in the future. Not to mention that Trump does not seem to be a T-Mobile fan as he recently did get into a heated exchange with T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere. Trump Tweeted him saying, “John, focus on running your company, I think the service is terrible! Try hiring some good managers.”
As it stands, Verizon seems to be the only safe carrier right now – no mergers or mudslinging going on. Trump is a business man and should know if a merger is good or bad for the people that elected him. As he surrounds himself with his cabinet, it will be interesting to see what kind of mergers in the wireless world take place, as carriers continue to try to branch out into other industries.