Cable Tech

Comcast Paying for Plaxo?

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) execs gave just a glimpse at their acquisition strategy on Thursday morning in concert with its fourth quarter earnings. (See Comcast Adds Record 2.5M Subs in '07.) It didn’t call out any specific targets, but it stressed it wasn’t shooting for any big game such as Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) or Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S).

“To be clear, we are not spending any time on any of the large transformative acquisitions that have been speculated about, like Yahoo or Sprint," said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts on the earnings call. “Instead, we are very focused on running our business and executing our plans. We are committed to remaining disciplined in our approach to acquisitions and will place every opportunity through rigorous financial and strategic filters to ensure that our investments yield attractive returns for our shareholders.”

That, by the way, means the MSO is perfectly happy with its decision to steer clear of the 700 MHz auctions, and equally happy with the AWS (advanced wireless services) spectrum it bid for and won in 2006 via the SpectrumCo coalition. (See SpectrumCo Gets Licenses .)

Likewise, Roberts had nothing new to add about how cable plans to use the AWS spectrum. “We’re studying what’s the best way to utilize that, if at all,” said, noting it gives MSOs in the joint venture some “long-term flexibility” and the whole “clearing process” will take multiple years to work its way through the regulatory machine.

As for potential acquisitions, the ValleyWag blog gossips that Comcast is making a $175 million play for Plaxo, which has already been integrated with the MSO’s “SmartZone” unified messaging system. (See Comcast Gets the (Unified) Message .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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