A report on Thursday from The Wall Street Journal said that Verizon is “exploring a combination” with fellow telecom giant Charter. Follow-ups from Bloomberg and CNBC later clarified that there have been no formal talks between the companies, though Bloomberg notes that Verizon has at least made some sort of inquiry about the possibility.
So, it’s far from certain. But with a telecommunications market that’s increasingly moving toward consolidation (Charter bought Time Warner Cable just last year), a Trump administration that’s expected to be pro-business, an FCC boss likely to approve mega-mergers, and a company in Verizon that could use more wired infrastructure to power its next-generation network, a deal might make sense.
If a merger ever were to occur, the combined company would be a behemoth. As this chart from Statista shows, a combined Verizon and Charter would immediately have the most broadband subscribers in the country by a good margin. It’d also be just behind Comcast in terms of pay-TV subscribers. And that’s in addition to Verizon’s wireless business, which is still the largest in the US, and would be primed to take advantage of a changing media landscape.