AT&T/DirecTV: Epitome of Bellhead Ploy

November, 2015

While the industry narrative continues to push the illogical idea that AT&T is leading the pack internationally as a transformational player, the operator has seemed to be more concerned in remaining a copper service juggernaut. It appears to us that perhaps the most important, although not apparently stated reason for its acquisition of DirecTV, was to provide extra capacity for data transmission on its U-verse/DSL modems (to become more competitive with CATV providers) as the video services would now obviously be increasingly provided by satellite. One of the biggest ironies is that while incumbent providers have maintained their historical reluctance to move to new solutions offered by their equipment suppliers, they have no problem in overspending billions, if not tens of billions of dollars in purchasing companies to primarily, if not totally, bring in novel technology – only...

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Arris + CommScope = Another M&A Decoy

January, 2019

An industry observer is expected to believe that CommScope, which was on the record at Investor Day, several months before the announcement of the merger with Arris Group, that it would only consider a relatively modest acquisition (and highlighted its previous buyout: “a very small connectivity company called, Cable Exchange,”) would so quickly change its mind, ostensibly because of future market opportunities, especially 5G (while commenting last month at the Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference, “[W]e're really in the infancy of all of this, trying to figure out where it's going….”). Such an individual is also supposed to be persuaded that “[a] primarily…passive product infrastructure provider,” which around a couple of years ago divested its RFoG and EPON businesses, suddenly decided to change its corporate ethos radically by becoming...

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