M&A Momentum Continues in Telecom

The past year has been a whirlwind in the telecommunications industry, as more than two dozen mergers and acquisitions (M&A) hit the newsstands.

The M&A frenzy is expected to continue through 2017. According to a recent report from credit rating agency Moody’s, telecommunications M&A activity will persist this year as businesses look to offset low revenue potential and heavy competition.

Some of the most active companies in the market right now include AT&T, Century Link and Verizon. In October, AT&T struck a $108.7 billion deal with Time Warner, and Century link is currently set to purchase Level 3 Communications. Looking forward, Moody’s predicts that Verizon—which is currently in the process of acquiring Yahoo—will seek to accelerate its 5G Mobile video strategy through either partnerships or large-scale M&A. Yet, the company probably won’t strike another mega deal this year, although its acquisition of Dish Network is speculated.

Speaking of Verizon’s 5G network, the company recently made headlines when it collaborated with South Korean carrier KT for the world’s first international hologram call over a trial 5G network. So, while super-fast commercial connectivity may still be a few years away, Verizon is moving full-speed ahead with its 5G network plans.

“Our view is that Verizon is likely to move the fastest, as they, in our view, are in the greatest need, and that depending on what they buy, this could ultimately affect the willingness of other parties to move on T-Mobile,” stated Colby Synesael, an analyst at Cowen & Co.

As for T-Mobile, this is another company to keep your eye on. Cowen & Co. believes that T-Mobile, which is owned by Deutsche Telekom, has the most M&A opportunities. The company could potentially make deals with Sprint, Comcast, Dish Network or Charter Communications this year.

Right now, the telecommunications industry is anxiously waiting for President Trump to appoint a new head of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. The DOJ, after all, still needs to officially review AT&T’s Time Warner Purchase.

What are your thoughts on the state of the telecommunications industry? Let’s keep the conversation going!