Verizon is considering an acquisition of Charter, the United States’ second largest cable company, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report says Verizon is “exploring” the idea, that the process is still early, and that a deal may not be reached — so this is all somewhat tentative for now.
But if Verizon decided to go through with it, and Charter agreed, it would create a telecom behemoth with a wide reach in both wired and wireless communications: Verizon is the largest wireless provider in the US. And with its acquisition of Time Warner Cable complete, Charter is now the second-largest provider of cable, behind Comcast.
Bloomberg is also reporting that Verizon is looking at a Charter acquisition, but its report emphasizes just how far from a deal the two are right now. The report says that Charter hasn’t been approached — though Verizon has spoken with a major Charter investor.
OK, one more - Verizon hasn't approached Charter, and Charter is skeptical Verizon will pay enough to make a deal worthwhile.— Alex Sherman (@sherman4949) January 26, 2017
A merger at this scale may have seemed fraught just months ago, but the Trump administration is certain to be friendlier to businesses. If Verizon and Charter want to merge, it’s unclear that anyone at the federal level would step in to stop them — although Trump has expressed some concern over AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner. Some state regulatory agencies would also have a say in the acquisition’s approval.
Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.