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While AT&T ’s argument in its FCC filing that its merger with DirecTV isn’t anti-competitive might evoke skepticism, it’s unlikely to be a deal breaker after some modification, Bernstein Research analysts wrote in a research note. Based on the telco’s merger filings, the analysts see 3 upsides for its wireline strategy post-closing: Avoidance of capex for U-verse-video expansion (leading to a deferment of capex for broadband upgrades), better broadband trajectory in region because of the ability to integrate with a pay TV anchor product, and upside from bundling fixed wireless with DTV, primarily out of region. They noted that AT&T was careful in its FCC filing not to commit to further U-verse video buildouts and said only that “AT&T customers will be able to keep their U-verse video service.”

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