AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson believes the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger will get past federal regulators.
“Our studying of this is that it probably gets done,” Stephenson said at an investor conference Thursday. “It’s probably going to have some hair on the transaction in terms of conditions.”
Stephenson said AT&T has been paying close attention to the “industry-redefining deal” and that the potential merger made his telecommunication company’s rollout of its network infrastructure upgrade, first launched in 2012, more urgent. Those redoubled efforts include escalating its push of a high-speed fiber-optic network; he officially announced that Dallas is next in line after Austin to earn the gigabit offering.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced a $45 billion merger last month that would combine the first- and second-largest cable providers if it passes federal scrutiny. A combined Comcast-Time Warner would reach 80 percent of U.S. households and integrate cable service with content production, according to Stephenson.
The AT&T chairman and CEO also touched on two other hot topics at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media, and Telecom conference in San Francisco: net neutrality and spectrum auctions.
He said the January federal court ruling overturning the Federal Communication Commission’s rules on net neutrality — the principle that Internet providers should not be able be able to charge websites for faster speeds — will likely not change how Internet providers do business because it is in their interest to self-regulate.
“If we go into a detailed Title II type rule-making, that’s going to be a long, laborious process and it will be good for nobody in the industry,” Stephenson said, referring to the FCC’s option to reclassify the Internet from an information service to a common carrier.
According to Stephenson, the FCC will have its hands full enough with the broadcast spectrum auction, slated for 2015, that aims to reallocate spectrum licenses from broadcasters to wireless providers. This auction will give wireless providers the opportunity to acquire additional bandwidth to keep up with the data surge brought on by the explosion in video streaming.
“This one is no lay-up, in terms of execution, for anybody,” he said.
- 1 For Hill Policymakers, Trump’s Ignorance Can be Bliss
- 2 Democrats Prepare Major Campaign Finance Reform Push
- 3 Smart Ideas: The Administration’s Contradictions on Bathroom Access; Poverty Changes One’s DNA
- 4 Trump Toes the GOP Line on Energy
- 5 DCCC Launches First Digital Ad Campaign Linking House Republicans to Trump
What We're Following See More »
"Congress abandoned the Capitol Thursday for an almost two-week break without addressing how to combat Zika, even as public health officials issue dire warnings about the spread of the mosquito-driven virus with summer approaching. ... Instead of racing to fund efforts to thwart a potential health crisis, lawmakers are treating the Zika debate like regular legislation, approving Thursday the establishment of a House-Senate committee to hammer out differences in their competing bills."
Donald Trump may have defeated Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential ambitions, but he wants the man he dubbed Little Marco to keep his job in the Senate. "Poll data shows that @marcorubio does by far the best in holding onto his Senate seat in Florida," Trump tweeted Thursday evening. "Important to keep the MAJORITY. Run Marco!" Trump is not the first to urge Rubio to run, though the senator has said such a move is unlikely. The filing deadline is June 24.
President Obama called for an end to nuclear weapons Friday during a somber visit to Hiroshima Peace Park in Japan, where the United States dropped the first atomic bomb 71 years ago. "That is the future we can choose,” Obama said. “A future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not for the bomb of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."