|Bid||38.20 x 2900|
|Ask||38.26 x 2200|
|Day's range||37.95 - 38.28|
|52-week range||26.80 - 39.70|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.58|
|PE ratio (TTM)||17.15|
|Earnings date||29 Jan 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.04 (5.32%)|
|1y target est||39.02|
AT&T Inc.* (NYSE:T) today provided an update to shareholders regarding the status of its capital allocation strategy.
Disney+ downloads passed 22 million on mobile devices, the independently owned app-tracking company Apptopia announced Tuesday.
Spam calls have reached “epidemic” status -- with Americans receiving a staggering 5.6 billion robocalls in November alone.
Frontier (FTR) collaborates with Neustar to thwart robocalls with the deployment of latest technology solutions for protecting consumers from malicious telephonic scams.
From understanding your risk tolerance to maintaining emotional control, achieving your retirement goals takes a much different investing approach than regular stock trading.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. are in court dueling with a group of state attorneys general over whether their merger will be harmful to consumers, even though it shouldn’t even be a debate. In what possible scenario would removing a low-cost rival from an already highly concentrated industry not have a negative effect on competition?The wireless carriers are contorting themselves into a pretzel trying to make the illogical argument that their merger will instead benefit customers — and somehow it’s working. Antitrust authorities appointed by President Donald Trump accepted this rationale with a straight face: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission, led by Ajit Pai, and the antitrust division of the Department of Justice, led by Makan Delrahim, each gave its blessing to the deal in recent months on the condition that the two companies make some painless concessions. Now, in a last line of legal defense and an unusual turn for such transactions, the matter is being tried in a case brought by plaintiffs Letitia James of New York and 13 other attorneys general. They are arguing that the remedies don’t go far enough to address the antitrust violations. They don’t, and yet there’s no telling which way this trial will go. Competition between T-Mobile and Sprint during the last few years resulted in lower plan prices for wireless customers, even putting pressure on industry leaders Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. It’s how unlimited data offerings came about. Without Sprint in the mix, this healthy competitive spirit is diminished. No acrobatics of economic modeling can camouflage this fact, and still the facts are in dispute. How very 2019.Text messages from 2017 between Roger Sole, Sprint’s head of marketing, and its then-CEO Marcelo Claure (who is now executive chairman) were revealed on Monday, the first day of the trial. As the two companies were negotiating the deal, Sole wrote to Claure that the combined entity could generate $5 more from each subscriber per month, and that the consolidation would even provide a boon to AT&T and Verizon. Sole may have been just spit-balling, and the state attorneys have a stronger case than to put too much stock in some gotcha private texts. Still, the conversation strongly suggests that greater pricing power was absolutely a motivation for the transaction, and it’s naive of anyone to think otherwise. T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed not to raise prices for three years, which is the blink of an eye in the business world and further demonstrates that the company’s goal is to eventually do so. Three years also conveniently brings the company to the point at which there may be little room left for cost-cutting, and so it will need to look to other ways to boost growth and margins. That’s if there aren’t loopholes in the agreement that it can exploit sooner. As well-liked as the gregarious T-Mobile CEO John Legere is — and as admirable as his track record is in fostering industry innovation — his personal promise that the company won’t take advantage of newfound pricing power should carry little weight. He won’t even be there to see it through. There are other business benefits beyond the ability to raise prices. For one, Sprint is a financially challenged company with a tarnished brand that is struggling to compete against its larger rivals. Selling to T-Mobile, which is on far healthier footing, would be good news for frustrated shareholders, such as Masayoshi Son of SoftBank Group Corp., the Japanese conglomerate that controls Sprint. The companies would also get to combine their spectrum assets and join forces on building a nationwide 5G wireless network.The U.S. needs to be competitive in 5G, but waving the American flag and trying to put the fear of China into regulators isn’t a legitimate defense against antitrust enforcement. Plus, it’s hard to see how blocking the merger would set the nation back — both companies are investing in 5G regardless. As for the notion that T-Mobile is preserving competition by rescuing Sprint before it potentially goes belly-up, it just doesn’t hold water because other bidders are probably out there. While companies like Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc. may be seen as the Big Bad Cable Guys, either one owning Sprint would still maintain a four-carrier market, whereas T-Mobile’s deal wouldn’t.One of the remedies sought by the DOJ was to allow satellite-TV provider Dish Network Corp. access to the T-Mobile network while Dish builds its own. But Dish is a long, long ways from ever replacing Sprint. The DOJ’s lax stance on this deal would also seem to contradict the concerns it recently raised about anti-competitive business practices in the tech world, where immense market power is wielded by so few players.In the book “The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition,” Jonathan Tepper and Denise Hearn make the case that the U.S. has an oligopoly problem — that is, industries have become too concentrated to the detriment of consumers and workers, in large thanks to anti-competitive mergers. My colleague John Authers, who runs the Bloomberg book club, and I will be discussing this with the authors in a live chat on Wednesday at 11 a.m. New York time. It’s a timely conversation as the T-Mobile-Sprint situation plays out. Terminal subscribers can join us at TLIV and send comments or questions to email@example.com.There’s more to come in the trials and tribulations of Sprint’s unending quest to merge with T-Mobile. But whatever headlines emerge from the courtroom, this fact won’t change: A merger means market power will be concentrated in fewer hands.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg) -- Global TV advertising sales fell almost 4% in 2019, the steepest drop since the depths of the economic recession in 2009, in the latest sign that advertisers are following viewers to the internet.Declines in TV viewership have suppressed the medium’s advertising dollars, according to research firm Magna Global, which released the data as part of report on the global ad business. Viewership fell sharply in Europe, compounding the trend in the U.S., China and Australia.Traditional television has hemorrhaged viewers in recent years, as people trade cable and satellite packages for online services Netflix and YouTube. Cord cutting has been especially pronounced in the U.S., the world’s largest media market, and should continue to accelerate as media giants Walt Disney Co. and AT&T Inc. introduce their own streaming services.Even with the retreat from TV, overall ad revenue climbed for the 10th year in a row. The industry was buoyed by digital sales, which rose 15%.The TV business had previously eked out gains in advertising sales by charging higher prices. And it’s still seen as a useful medium when marketers need to reach a large, live audience. Technology companies excel at allowing advertisers to target individuals who have searched for a sweater on Google, liked a movie’s page on Facebook or looked for detergent on Amazon.Yet declines in viewership now outpace the rise in TV ad pricing. So-called linear TV viewership has been declining by 10% in the U.S., Australia and China for a few years, according to Vincent Letang, the author of the report. European TV channels suffered drops of 7% to 8% among viewers age 18 to 49, worse than the 5% decline last year.Worldwide Decline“Almost everywhere now, we have linear viewing declining double digits, or high single digits,” Letang said in an interview. He blamed the proliferation of streaming services, which took hold in Europe a few years later than in the U.S., as well as the slowing economies in the region.U.S. TV ad sales will return to growth in 2020 thanks to the Summer Olympics and the presidential election, but that is a temporary boost.The TV industry isn’t the only one suffering. Technology companies Google and Facebook Inc. have siphoned advertising dollars away from print publications and radio in recent years. Online companies garnered more than half of global advertising sales in 2019 for the first time, accounting for $306 billion of the $595 billion spent globally.Radio advertising sales stabilized in 2019, while the out-of-home category -- namely, billboards -- was the only traditional media to actually grow. That’s due in part to technology companies, which use billboards to tout their services. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google all rank among the 20 largest out-of-home advertisers.To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Friday apologized again for her past claim of Native American ancestry, saying she “shouldn’t have done it,” addressing a controversy that has made her a target of President Donald Trump.“Never had anything to do with any job I ever got or any benefit,” Warren said during a campaign event in Peterborough, New Hampshire. “But even so, I shouldn’t have done it. I am not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe and I have apologized for confusion I have caused on tribal citizenship, tribal sovereignty and for any harm I have caused.”Warren’s response came after a voter asked her to explain the “confusion” during a town hall in New Hampshire. The controversy has dogged her since 2012, when Scott Brown, her Republican opponent in the Massachusetts Senate race, criticized her for identifying as Native American during her career as a law professor.In August, she offered a public apology during a Native American presidential forum in Iowa in August.Trump has long taunted her for the claim, frequently referring to her as “Pocahontas.”At the rally Friday, she said Trump “has a strategy going forward. He hopes what we’re going to do is turn against each other.”Biden Super-PAC Makes Ad Buy in Iowa (12:09 p.m.)Unite the Country, a super-PAC started by former aides of Joe Biden, is launching a $650,000 advertising campaign in Iowa promoting his candidacy.The group’s first spot features a montage of photos starting with Biden as a young man and excerpts from a speech in which Biden highlights his stance favoring marriage equality, his sponsorship of the Violence Against Women Act and the assault weapons ban enacted as part of the 1994 crime bill he sponsored.The ad doesn’t mention other Democratic candidates. It also doesn’t mention President Donald Trump, whose attacks on Biden were cited by the super-PAC’s founders as the reason they were forming the group. Trump’s campaign spent $8 million on television and digital ads starting in late October that criticized Biden over his son’s work for a Ukrainian energy firm.Unite the Country bought air time starting Monday in four Iowa markets, according to Advertising Analytics, which tracks political commercials. Biden is in fourth place in the state, according to the Real Clear Politics poll average. -- Bill AllisonWarren Gets Clean Bill of Health in Report (9:10 a.m.)Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is a “very healthy 70-year-old woman,” her doctor said in a medical report released by the campaign Friday.“Senator Warren is in excellent health and has been throughout the 20 years I have served as her physician,” said Dr. Beverly Woo, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “There are no medical conditions or health problems that would keep her from fulfilling the duties of the president of the United States.”The records show that she got her most recent physical examination in January and her annual flu shot in October. Warren has “excellent” cholesterol levels and normal blood pressure. At 5 feet 8 inches, she weighs 129 pounds. Her only medical condition is hypothyroidism, for which she takes levothyroxine, which keeps her thyroid hormone levels normal, Woo said.Warren “has never smoked, used drugs or had any problem with alcohol use,” the report said. “She exercises regularly and follows a healthy diet despite her very busy schedule.”Warren is the only top-tier candidate to release medical records so far. Bernie Sanders, 78, who had a heart attack in early October, said he will make his available at “the appropriate time.” Joe Biden, 77, has not yet released his information but has said he will do so before the Iowa caucuses in February. Pete Buttigieg, who at 37 is the youngest candidate in the race, has not released any records. -- Misyrlena EgkolfopoulouSanders Aims to Break Up AT&T, Comcast (8:34 a.m.)Senator Bernie Sanders’ $150 billion plan aimed at bringing high-speed internet access to all U.S. households would break up Internet service provider and cable “monopolies,” singling out such companies as Comcast Corp., AT&T Inc., and Verizon Communications Inc.“The internet as we know it was developed by taxpayer-funded research, using taxpayer-funded grants in taxpayer-funded labs,” Sanders said in the plan, which was released Friday. “Our tax dollars built the internet and access to it should be a public good for all, not another price gouging profit machine for Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.”Sanders said the internet, telecom, and cable companies “exploit their dominant market power to gouge consumers and lobby government at all levels to keep out competition.” He’d mandate providers offer a “basic, quality Internet plan at an affordable price.”The Sanders plan comes as one of his rivals, Senator Elizabeth Warren, is leading the charge to to break up large tech companies. Warren published an October essay titled “Here’s How We Can Break Up Big Tech,” calling for splitting up Amazon Inc., Facebook Inc., and Google.AT&T, Verizon and Comcast rose fractionally before regular U.S. trading, with gains of less than 0.5%. -- Elizabeth WassermanCOMING UPJoe Biden is on an eight-day, 18-county bus tour of Iowa through Saturday.Presidential candidates including Biden, Sanders and Pete Buttigieg will participate in a forum hosted by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday.Warren, Sanders and Biden are scheduled to take part in town hall meetings hosted by UNITE HERE Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas on Dec. 9-11.(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)\--With assistance from Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou and Bill Allison.To contact the reporter on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at email@example.com, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Leveraging 5G Ultra Wideband network, Verizon (VZ) partners with Sony to promote next-gen live sports viewing experience with excellent wireless connectivity, low-latency and high-definition video.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The merger floodgates broke open five years ago, and now U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to close the hatch. Her proposed bill to substantially restrict big corporate tie-ups is more a presidential campaign statement than viable legislation — and it certainly won’t score her any more points with the Wall Street crowd — but she is calling attention to the maniacal pace of dealmaking in corporate America and the need to modernize antitrust laws that have permitted some recent problematic transactions.More than $7 trillion of takeovers of U.S. companies have been announced since this day in 2014 — 52,694 companies to be exact.(1) That compares with just $4.4 trillion of deals in the previous five-year period. The transactions grew over time as balance sheets flush with cash and income statements desperate for growth created a perfect storm, which more often than not was stoked by pliable regulators. The Walt Disney Co. acquired 21st Century Fox Inc.; Charter Communications Inc. bought Time Warner Cable Inc.; CVS Health Corp. took over Aetna Inc.; Marriott International Inc. merged with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.; and T-Mobile US Inc. is trying to buy Sprint Corp. Those are just some of the more recognizable names. Warren, one of the top-polling candidates heading into the Democratic primaries, wants to ban deals in which one company has annual revenue of more than $40 billion, or both businesses generate more than $15 billion in sales, according to a draft of the bill reviewed by Bloomberg News. (A notable exception would be companies facing insolvency.) That could effectively prevent every top airline, insurer, manufacturer, oil producer, retailer, technology platform and other conglomerates — perhaps even Warren Buffett’s M&A vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. — from making any acquisitions. It would sound the M&A death knell. The idea, however, is unlikely to gain broad support among lawmakers.Even so, it’s hard not to notice the rising drumbeat of politicians concerned about overreach by corporate giants, particularly those in the tech field. Senator Amy Klobuchar, another Democratic presidential candidate, plans to introduce separate antitrust legislation soon, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. (Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Opinion, is also campaigning for president.)For the Trump administration’s part, the U.S. Justice Department is already investigating whether tech giants — namely Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google — are using their unchecked power to engage in harmful business practices. But as I wrote in July, if regulators are so concerned about protecting consumers from tech overreach, their glowing endorsement of T-Mobile’s takeover of Sprint is a funny way of showing it; it will shrink the U.S. wireless market from four to three major carriers and remove a company that’s helped to keep customer prices in check.Antitrust regulation under President Donald Trump has at times created questionable optics. Makan Delrahim, the Justice Department’s top antitrust enforcer, seemed to switch his stance on AT&T Inc.’s takeover of Time Warner Inc. as Trump railed against the deal. Time Warner was the parent of CNN, which Trump views as his personal nemesis. (I’ve argued that whatever the case, scrutiny of the megamerger was warranted considering the broad market power it gave to AT&T as media companies without such scale struggle to compete.) By comparison, Disney and Fox, which was controlled by Trump pal Rupert Murdoch, closed their megadeal with few regulatory hiccups. Warren has criticized other giant deals, such as the merger of SunTrust Banks Inc. and BB&T Corp. and the combination of seed makers Bayer AG and Monsanto Co. Given that they aren’t household names, though, most Americans are unfazed by or unaware of such deals, even though they may feel the effects later. Her bill would direct the government to take into account not just whether a merger will lead to higher prices but also what the impact might be on workers, privacy and industry innovation. To justify the cost of buying another large company, dealmakers tend to come up with ambitious estimates of synergies, a euphemism for layoffs. It’s clear that the meaning of “harm” needs to be expanded in the antitrust sense, and laws need to take a more holistic view of the potential consequences of M&A as the lines between industries continue to blur. The Big Tech factor also needs to be weighed, as some deals are being done in part to respond to companies like Amazon that are spreading their tentacles into new areas. On Wednesday, TV-network operators CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. completed their own merger, a bid to cut costs and create more scale to compete against a new roster of even more powerful media giants: Amazon, Apple, AT&T and Disney. Even then, ViacomCBS Inc., as the merged entity is now called, may not be big enough, and so it may be only a matter of time before it gets swallowed. Warren’s overly broad proposal likely isn’t the answer. But Democrats do seem ready to at least try to rein in a market that’s gotten out of hand. For dealmakers, this may be last call at the M&A party.(1) Data compiled by Bloomberg as of Thursday morning. Excludes terminated deals.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.