Verizon, MSOs Kill Wireless JV
Forget about that cable/wireless technology innovation joint venture between Verizon and three major US MSOs.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CFO Fran Shammo said the much-ballyhooed deal, which Verizon struck with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), and Bright House Networks nearly two years ago, “has been terminated.”
Speaking on Verizon’s third-quarter earnings call Thursday, Shammo didn’t offer much explanation, merely saying the four companies are “moving in our separate ways on that.” As later clarified by a Verizon spokeswoman, the joint venture was actually dissolved in August. In a statement emailed to reporters, she said that “evolving technology and market changes since the joint venture was formed have led all parties to conclude that a joint venture, per se, is no longer needed to deliver innovative services to customers.”
Shammo said Verizon and the MSOs are continuing to work together to market bundles of cable and wireless services to their respective customers as part of the Advanced Wireless Spectrum (AWS) deals struck in December 2011. Under those pacts, which also involve Cox Communications Inc. , Verizon and the four major cable providers have launched promotions in scores of markets throughout the US. (See MSOs Sell AWS Spectrum to Verizon for $3.6B and MSO Deal Not Verizon's Spectrum 'End Game'.)
The move to terminate the wireless JV comes in the wake of Verizon’s pending agreement to buy Vodafone UK ’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion. With that deal behind it, Shammo said Verizon will focus on bringing customers the best wireline and wireless products available. (See Vodafone Agrees to $130B Verizon Stake Sale.)
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading