According to a new report coming out of The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Verizon is exploring its options on acquiring Charter. Who recently just bought Time Warner Cable. Now AT&T already has agreed to acquire Time Warner, which is their content arm, while Charter purchased the cable company. And now Verizon is looking to pick up the entire merged company.
Verizon is still in the early stages of talks, so this may amount to a pretty impressive merger, but it may also not happen. If Verizon were to pick up Charter though, it would make them one of the largest telecom companies in the US. Currently they are the largest wireless provider, and while their wired business isn't that large, adding Charter to the mix would almost immediately make them a big competitor to Comcast. Currently, Charger is the second-largest provider, behind Comcast. And that was only after picking up Time Warner Cable, so it's unclear how large the combined company would be if the merger were approved.
In the past few years there have been plenty of acquisitions in the telecom industry. With AT&T purchasing DIRECTV and then agreeing to purchase Time Warner. Now with Verizon looking to pick up Charter after it acquired Time Warner Cable. Verizon may wait to agree to purchase Charter until after they see if regulators approve of the AT&T/Time Warner deal. This is a deal that President Trump said he would block if he won the presidency, which he did, but so far it doesn't look like he will block it. Seeing as the Trump Administration is favoring less regulation, it could be easier for companies like AT&T and Time Warner to merge, leading the way for Verizon and Charter to merge, if they do happen to agree on a deal.
With the purchase of Charter, this would eliminate a whole bunch of competitors in the cable and Internet business. And essentially leave most people with just a handful of choices (which aren't available everywhere), like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast. Keep in mind that Verizon is simply exploring the options right now, so this may come to fruition, but there's also a chance that it won't.