Verizon-Charter Combo Would Overtake Comcast’s Broadband Dominance

The two telecom giants are reportedly exploring a merger.

Verizon Fios - Suburban Station ad

An ad for Verizon Fios in Suburban Station. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

The telecom world may reshape itself yet again in another groundbreaking merger. Charter Communications, the country’s second-largest cable company after Comcast, could merge with Verizon, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The merger would join the two companies’ internet businesses, creating the biggest internet provider in the country and surpassing Comcast’s 25 million customers. And their combined base of pay-TV subscribers would put them in the same ballpark in that industry as Comcast.

The combination is just another move in the continued consolidation of the communications industry. After Comcast failed to merge with Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal, Charter swooped in with the $79 billion deal that made it the second-largest cable TV and Internet provider.

Verizon, which leads the mobile carrier market with 114 million cellphone customers, recently bought AOL and Yahoo in an effort to expand into digital content. The company is also reportedly carrying $100 billion in debt and facing growing competition from wireless rivals AT&T and T-Mobile.

While Comcast currently holds the most pay-TV and broadband subscribers, its dominance has started to look uncertain. However, its deals with and investments in popular content creators like Netflix, Buzzfeed, and Snap, its successful merger with NBCUniversal, and the strong performance of its cable platform X1, proves it can hold its own. Comcast even has plans to launch a wireless service of its own at the middle of the year, too.

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