FCC Faces Busy Year of Acquisitions, Auctions and Regulation

The following is on the schedule for the Federal Communications Commission: whether to approve or block AT&T’s newly announced $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, whether to allow Comcast’s proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable, establish rules for next year’s auction of TV airwaves to wireless carriers, and determine whether and/or how to regulate the way broadband providers treat traffic over networks (and possibly face a busier calendar if Sprint makes a bid for T-Mobile). Continue reading FCC Faces Busy Year of Acquisitions, Auctions and Regulation

Sprint in Talks with Banks to Fund Acquisition of T-Mobile

Sprint is reportedly meeting with five different banks, including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, to expedite its bid for rival T-Mobile. Insiders say that Sprint, which is owned by Japan’s SoftBank, hopes to finance much of T-Mobile’s estimated $50 billion price with corporate bonds. The remaining amount would likely be covered by syndicated loans and convertible bonds. Sprint, which is also working to ease regulatory concerns regarding the deal, is expected to make a formal offer by June or July. Continue reading Sprint in Talks with Banks to Fund Acquisition of T-Mobile

Charter and Comcast Joining Forces, End Dispute Over TWC

Charter Communications may have figured out another plan to become the nation’s second-largest cable operator, despite losing out to Comcast in its bid to acquire Time Warner Cable. As part of a new three-part deal with Comcast announced yesterday, Charter plans to pick up subscribers that Comcast will be divesting. Should the deals be completed, Charter will acquire a stake in a new public company to be launched by Comcast, and swap subscribers with the cable giant. Continue reading Charter and Comcast Joining Forces, End Dispute Over TWC

Maker Studios Says Disney Offer Approved by Shareholders

Maker Studios announced that Disney’s offer to acquire the YouTube multichannel network (MCN) has been approved by a majority of its shareholders, despite Relativity Media throwing its hat in the ring with a surprise bid of $1.1 billion (mostly stock) on Sunday. Also, the Superior Court for the State of California in L.A. yesterday rejected a request by former Maker executives, including former CEO Danny Zappin, seeking to block the shareholder vote on the proposed Disney acquisition. Continue reading Maker Studios Says Disney Offer Approved by Shareholders

Sprint Could Acquire T-Mobile to Better Compete with Rivals

Sprint, the third largest carrier in the U.S., may take over its smaller rival, T-Mobile. Sprint has received proposals from at least two banks on how to finance the acquisition. T-Mobile’s market value is reportedly around $26 billion, but the deal would likely cost $50 billion total, with approximately $20 billion going toward paying off T-Mobile’s debt. The potential takeover comes at a little more than a year from an expected government auction of wireless airwaves. Continue reading Sprint Could Acquire T-Mobile to Better Compete with Rivals

Charter Continues Pursuit of Time Warner Cable with New Bid

Charter Communications went public on Monday with its latest bid for Time Warner Cable. The $37.4 billion cash-and-stock proposal, submitted via letter from Charter CEO Tom Rutledge to TWC Chief Rob Marcus, follows three private offers submitted since June that have all been turned down by the nation’s second-largest cable company. TWC rejected the bid as “grossly inadequate.” Rutledge said Charter, the fourth largest cable operator, has no plans to increase the offer. Continue reading Charter Continues Pursuit of Time Warner Cable with New Bid

LA Plans Fiber Network to Deliver Free Broadband and Wi-Fi

Los Angeles is poised to unleash an ambitious city-led broadband project with plans to deliver fiber to all of its businesses and 3.5 million residents. The new fiber network, expected to cost $3 billion to $5 billion, would offer free Internet access of 2Mbps to 5Mbps, likely subsidized by advertising. Paid tiers would offer access up to a gigabit, and the network would power Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas. Phone service and television is not a requirement for bidders, but package offerings would not be a surprise. Continue reading LA Plans Fiber Network to Deliver Free Broadband and Wi-Fi

Facebook Update Adds Video Content to Mobile Advertising

Facebook yesterday announced an upgrade that enables mobile app developers to run video ads in the News Feed on iOS and Android devices. Advertisers can use video creative in their mobile app ads, which lets developers pay to promote apps through the social network’s mobile News Feed. According to Facebook, customers will have the option to click play in order to watch videos featuring mobile apps before installing them. Continue reading Facebook Update Adds Video Content to Mobile Advertising

Fresh Off the Auction Block, Hulu Investing in New Content

Hulu is making significant investments in content, including a licensing deal with BBC Worldwide North America to bring 144 titles to its video-streaming service. The company is also adding the first four seasons of CBS series “The Good Wife” to its library, and ordered 10 episodes of supernatural comedy “Deadbeat” from Lionsgate, one of approximately 40 original series it plans to introduce in the upcoming years. Hulu was taken off the auction block just two months ago. Continue reading Fresh Off the Auction Block, Hulu Investing in New Content

Following Trendrr Deal, Twitter Acquires Mobile Ad Firm MoPub

Twitter announced this week that it has acquired mobile advertising firm MoPub, which enables mobile application publishers to manage inventory and leverage advertising such as direct ads, house ads, ad network and real-time bidding through the MoPub Marketplace exchange. The deal, worth an estimated $350 million, can be viewed as Twitter’s latest effort to increase revenue prior to its much-anticipated initial public offering, expected sometime next year. Continue reading Following Trendrr Deal, Twitter Acquires Mobile Ad Firm MoPub

Hulu Owners Call Off Sale, Announce New Investment Plans

The three companies that mutually own Hulu announced on Friday that they would not be selling the video site, bringing an end to months of bidding and speculation. Instead, the current owners of Hulu — 21st Century Fox, Disney and NBCUniversal — explained that they plan to invest $750 million to compete against online video services such as Netflix and Amazon. Until Friday’s announcement, DirecTV with its $1 billion offer was considered by many to be the leading bidder. Continue reading Hulu Owners Call Off Sale, Announce New Investment Plans

Dish Network Opts Not to Submit New Bid for Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel, the third largest U.S. wireless carrier, accepted a $21.6 billion bid last week from Japan’s SoftBank and gave Dish Network a Tuesday deadline to make a best and final offer. However, Dish said it would not submit a new offer by the deadline, which clears the way for a Sprint acquisition by SoftBank. Dish has shifted its focus to purchasing a large stake in Clearwire Communications, but now faces a lawsuit filed by Sprint to block the offer. Continue reading Dish Network Opts Not to Submit New Bid for Sprint Nextel

Inside Sources Believe DirecTV will Acquire Hulu this Month

Multiple sources familiar with the ongoing Hulu acquisition talks have suggested that a deal with DirecTV is in “very advanced stages” and could close by the end of this month. If the deal is approved, DirecTV would acquire over 4 million paying Hulu Plus subscribers, which generated $695 million in revenue last year, including advertising. The latest negotiations have reportedly ranged in price from half a billion to more than a billion dollars, depending on structure and terms. Continue reading Inside Sources Believe DirecTV will Acquire Hulu this Month

Dish Goes Up Against SoftBank to Purchase Sprint Nextel

Dish Network has received signed commitment letters from five banks, according to people familiar with the matter, bringing it closer to arranging $9 billion in committed financing for a planned $25.5 billion acquisition bid for Sprint Nextel. Dish has raised nearly $12 billion for the deal, which will compete with October’s $20.1 billion offer by SoftBank to acquire 70 percent of Sprint. The financing arrives a few days after Sprint agreed to enter into negotiations with Dish. Continue reading Dish Goes Up Against SoftBank to Purchase Sprint Nextel

Dish Network Submits $25.5 Billion Bid for Sprint Nextel

Pay TV operator Dish Network announced yesterday that it has placed a $25.5 billion bid for wireless carrier Sprint Nextel, which is presently ranked third in the U.S. behind Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Dish Network’s chairman and former CEO Charlie Ergen is hoping to bridge the gap of current wireless models by offering customers faster and more affordable television, high-speed Internet and cellphone services in a single package. Continue reading Dish Network Submits $25.5 Billion Bid for Sprint Nextel