Telecoms Rise on Deal Bets -- Telecoms Roundup

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05/19/2017 | 09:14 pm

Shares of telecommunications companies rose amid bets on further consolidation in the sector.

Recent acquisitions such as Verizon's purchase of wireless spectrum holder Straight Path Communications after a bidding war with AT&T suggest that industry participants are fighting tooth and nail for network capacity ahead of the launch of "fifth generation" networks.

One long-rumored tie-up is a possible merger between T-Mobile US and Sprint. "T-Mobile offered its strongest case yet for a Sprint transaction, noting that it would offer scale and margins comparable to the incumbents while providing valuable spectrum for a 5G network," Nomura analysts wrote in a note to clients. "While the industrial logic behind a Sprint merger has always made sense, T-Mobile's tone has shifted." One major hurdle, according to Nomura is "Department of Justice approval, which we view as a high bar."

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved a plan to begin rolling back Obama-era net-neutrality rules, reopening a battle over internet regulation that has raged for much of the last decade.

-By Rob Curran, [email protected]

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