Mergers and acquisitions, it’s a part of free enterprise and a capitalist economy, and they come small and big. AT&T and Time Warner both are familiar to mergers and acquisitions, but neither know small. Some can be good for the economy and some can threaten it.
In 2014 AT&T dropped $49B for DirecTV and made the sale. In 2009 Time Warner let go of Time Warner Cable, which then got bought by Charter Communications (now named Spectrum) for $60B in May. AT&T seems to have been beefing itself up since 2014, the once simple telephone, wireless, and Internet company is en route to be a media giant like Comcast.
Compared to those mentioned above, the price tag for this merger trumps those. AT&T is ready to pay $85B for Time Warner.
If this merger passes the regulatory hurdles (FCC & FTC), AT&T will pass up Disney and be right along side Comcast in the media and telecommunications industries. AT&T owns DirecTV, the 2nd largest TV provider in the US, but AT&T also has their own TV service called UVerse.
AT&T UVerse has been around since 2006, but a decade later it is much more widespread and has a 4 part package to it. Those 4 parts are: TV, Internet, Landline Telephone, and Wireless (cell phone). UVerse however is only available in select states as shown below.
Image source: http://www.att.com/local/
However since 2014, UVerse availability doesn’t matter as much to AT&T because AT&T has DirecTV which is available almost nationwide. AT&T even promotes on their website, if you’re not in the UVerse area, go to DirecTV. So what does this mean exactly? Since AT&T controls the pipes to bring consumers content (DirecTV and UVerse), them buying Time Warner makes perfect sense, to control some content, and Time Warner has a lot of it.
Time Warner owns: TBS, TNT, CNN, HBO, Cartoon Network, and Warner Brothers. This gives AT&T’s UVerse and DirecTV almost exclusive content of some of the biggest names in TV. This is great for AT&T, they’ll no longer have to pay Time Warner to use their content, but will they have control over pricing for their competitors? That is one big question regulators need to look into and find an answer, because that could upset the industry big time.
If AT&T wants consumers to believe this is good for them, they need to start promoting and advertising on what AT&T and DirecTV will offer if the deal passes. Lower UVerse and DirecTV prices would be a great way to start. If AT&T can make that argument to the regulators in Washington, then this deal should have no trouble passing. If AT&T can’t make a decent enough argument to regulators and convince consumers that this deal will make competition better and benefit the consumers, then this deal is done for.
You may be asking yourself, what about Comcast and NBCUniversal? Isn’t that the same thing? Yes it pretty much is the same deal, a large content distributor bought a content provider, but did it really benefit consumers? Most Comcast customers would say no. Like Comcast and NBCUniversal, AT&T-Time Warner is just more consolidation it seems, but consolidation is always good for the market, if it benefits consumers.
The AT&T-Time Warner deal has so much potential for benefitting consumers, but talk is one thing and action is another. Like stated above, AT&T needs to make the case, persuade, and then execute it for this to be a win-win. If the deal does go through, it’s either going to force Verizon and other like-minded companies within the industry to go out a buy a content provider or create antitrust lawsuits. Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav, echoed that in a Fox Business article. Zaslav said “The bigger consolidation question is what happens now to the distributors? Do the cable operators now have to find a wireless solution in the U.S.? Most of them inside the U.S. have felt that they needed to. Does Verizon now look at AT&T and say wait a minute? They have DirecTV and now they have a huge amount of content, we don’t have any one of those things. Do we need one or the other?”.
Antitrust lawsuits could arise due to the fact that AT&T will have a lot of power, and like Donald Trump said “too much concentration of power”, which is true. However it depends what AT&T does with that power; if they abuse it, expect lawsuits, and if they don’t, expect competition to spark. Touching on Trump’s thoughts of this, like he said in Gettysburg, PA, he thinks this gives AT&T too much power and deletes a competitor in the market while strengthening another one, which is true. Trump wants to break up the deal, but he should wait and see how it plays out. I get Trump’s concern, but being a capitalist country we need to let the free market work it out. This could very well benefit consumers, but at the same time it can harm competition and the market, or worse case it hurts consumers and competition.
AT&T’s goal is to make as much money as possible, and this deal will reach and exceed that goal massively. AT&T will have to take on some debt at first though, about $175B according to
The New York Times. In order to make this purchase, AT&T will have to pay with “new debt”, it’s own stocks, and “on hand” cash, which AT&T can easily and affordably do. AT&T also has a bridge loan committed to this deal for about $40B, JPMorgan Chase representing $25B and Bank of America representing $15B, and that’s a lot of cash to hand out. However this cash will only be used as a last resort. All this information is from The New York Times.
Shareholders of both AT&T and Time Warner seemed to have not publicly addressed this merger, but I’m sure there is a mixture of for and againsts within in both companies, even for stakeholders. Also if this deal does not go through, since this merger has been accepted between both companies, employees from both companies working directly with the merger have their jobs on the line. This is because during a merger, employees working for both companies included in the merger know each others ways and secrets, so if this merger gets struck down in Washington the employees have to be let go.
All AT&T consumers can expect everything Time Warner to be exclusive to them, or they’ll see a lot more of Time Warner’s content on their devices. Like stated earlier, AT&T must lower their prices for UVerse and DirecTV since they’ll own a large chunk of content and no longer have to pay for it. AT&T can make customers and regulators very mad if this deal doesn’t trickle down and only raise consumer prices and issues. Expect AT&T’s wireless division to take full advantage of having Time Warner’s resources too, think advertising and apps. That is something consumers could look forward to, well apps that is, AT&T will look forward to that ad revenue. AT&T users could soon have exclusive TBS, HBO, CNN, and other Warner networks/studios content and apps on their smartphones, and that could attract new customers as well.
Pay-TV AKA streaming TV, like Sling TV and Playstation Vue, will for sure come out of this. That is the future, and AT&T knows that, and quite frankly, I believe the both the telecommunication and media industries know that. AT&T will be able to stream exclusively Time Warner content, and therefore use that savings in cash on other content. AT&T will give DirecTV a direct product to compete against DISH Network’s Sling TV. That alone will shake up the industries and the markets, and it’ll be the better, a win-win for all stakeholders. This product alone would be a real money maker for AT&T, because it’ll more than likely be sold under the DirecTV brand, and more people have DirecTV than DISH Network. DirecTV is up there with Comcast, and is a very common household name. AT&T’s UVerse simply doesn’t have the consumer reach that DirecTV does, nor the resources...yet.
It’s clear AT&T is taking advantage of the “multiple screens” approach. AT&T wants their customers, and their hopeful future customers to be reached on every screen possible. AT&T is simply maximizing their profit and taking the Comcast approach.
Anyhow here’s the stocks for each:
AT&T shareholders seem scared, probably due to regulatory risk and price tag. Time Warner shareholders seem happy and optimistic about a TWX investment. Could be a home run for both stocks.
Image Source: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/161019215359-third-presidential-debate-trump-clinton-sot-putin-best-friend-00001718-exlarge-tease.jpg
It doesn't seem all that long ago, that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were nominated by their parties for President of the United States. Three weeks until the election, the final debate came to a close last night. If you choose to watch main stream media all day, you'd be probably be under the impression Hillary Clinton won, but open Twitter and Internet polls tell a much different story.
This is the third analysis, if you will, that is being conducted of what the media tell you, and the results they give versus people of all kinds, from all over the country clicking a button. Trump had a much better performance in terms of issues and in terms of strength. The American people had to have seen that, at least those who were paying attention.
Anyways, it's no surprise the notorious CNN/ORC poll declared Hillary the winner of the third debate, and for some reason the actual poll results themselves weren't published on the CNN article. There is no question Hillary won that poll. but why is this poll the gold standard of polls? It makes no sense.
The CNN/ORC poll had Hillary winning 52% to Trump's 39%, it's no surprise. If you look at the second debate Pulsar analysis, you'll get an idea on how this poll is conducted, and like all these closed polls, it's demographically biased. The actual poll itself was not released, so it can't be shown.
Let's dig in.
Trump wins this poll big time, and take the sweep of the C-SPAN poll for all three debates.
Trump beats Hillary by 28% in this poll, and goes 2-1 for USA Today polls of all three debates. Hillary won the second debate poll.
Political Polls (@PpollingNumbers):
Trump again, scores a very big win. Political Polls is a very well respected and followed account on Twitter. They put out various Presidential and Congressional election polls daily. Trump sweeps this poll as well for all three debates.
Being that I'm from Pennsylvania I wanted to include this poll, but I did hope to include a KDKA poll for the third debate, KDKA did not conduct one. I'm not sure why, but Trump went 1-1 in the two polls that were conducted, Hillary won debate one and Trump won the second. Trump wins big in this PennLive poll though, beating Hillary by 42%.
New York Times Opinion:
Yes, this is just the Twitter account of The New York Times Opinion section, but it's still significant. Trump always bashes The NYT, but for good reasons, and The NYT are largely biased against Trump. 68% of people who voted, thought Trump won, compared to Hillary's 24% and that's huge.
Trump scored his 3rd straight debate poll victory on Drudge, beating Hillary massively by 74.32%.
It seemed that, open polls on mid to high grade media sites were becoming harder to come across, until I found AOL's. Trump picks up the W by 3.28%.
These next two are from the two biggest swing states, that both went in Trump's favor. The first one is WCPO from Cincinnatti, OH and the second is from WPVT from all of South Florida.
Trump dominates both of them, not even a contest. Now to be fair Hillary did win a poll in Columbus, OH conducted by a news outlet there, and she won a Jacksonville news outlet poll. However Trump did win the polls in a Tampa Bay news outlet and a Cleveland news outlet The two above were chosen due to location and how massive the margin of victory was.
Hillary did win a national media outlet Internet poll, it was Mediaite. Here it is:
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulates all telecommunications in The United States of America, from Radio, TV, to Telephone and plenty in between. They step in between mergers, when they think business steps out of line, and much more. The past two weeks have been big weeks for the FCC, all benefiting and looking out for the consumers.
Comcast and T-Mobile both have had to dish out millions of dollars to the FCC for taking advantage of their customers. We'll begin with the biggest company out of the two, Comcast.
On October 11th, Comcast was handed a $2.3M fine by the FCC, for literally charging customers for products and services they never ordered or requested. This came after the FCC received a large amount of complaints saying Comcast was charging for set-top boxes, DVRs, service charges, and a few others, that they never ordered or requested. That is bad business on Comcast's part, and hard to believe they thought the could get away with it. Really trying to make that money any way possible maybe, but is a fine really worth all that?
There have also been reports, according to Fox Business, that Comcast is facing class action law suits due to this, from subscribers in seven states. Comcast straight up misled the consumer and stiffed them.
Sadly, people will still choose Comcast, as they should in a capitalist society. It's just hard to go for a company that stiffs its customers, but they do have great infrastructure, cable, and networks which help lead to the number of customers they have. Although in some areas around the US, Comcast is the only Internet and cable provider around, so not really a choice there.
I'm sure Comcast will address this appropriately, and offer deals and promotions for their products and services. What Comcast really should do, is speed up and invest time and money into their Gigabit Internet service, and see what that'll do for their revenue.
Comcast's one month to date stock is below, clearly they took a hit due to this.
T-Mobile, is going to have to now revamp their unlimited data plans, and either overhaul it or make it truly "unlimited". T-Mobile should start offering discounts and sales on plans and phones. T-Mobile should also promote and advertise hard for the holiday season, and make a gamble it'll pay off. T-Mobile needs to find a way to get back toe to toe with Sprint and make that run for the number 3 carrier in the US.
Well, a round of applause for the FCC for doing their jobs and looking out for the people. We than you for your service, do more of this work and keep out of politics and the FCC will be A-okay.
Samsung's Wound: The Galaxy Note7
In August, Samsung released their highly anticipated Galaxy Note7 smartphone. They quickly flew off the shelves and reviewers went mad. Then in just two short months, the Note7 died and Samsung has a pretty deep wound to heal.
In just two weeks, reports started to flood in that Note7 smartphones were smoking, catching fire, and exploding. This prompted Samsung to stop shipments and look into the issue. Samsung then realized they were going to have to replace all the Note7s they sold and issue a recall. While Samsung is in problem solving mode for this, the FAA urged passengers with a Note7 not to fly, or make sure the device is turned off while aboard an aircraft. This is just the start of the wound.
Samsung rolled out their replacement Note7s in September, but it seems as if they didn’t even fix the problem, because even the replacements would blow up. This shock came about when a replacement Note7 exploded on board a Southwest flight that was still at the gate.
This all prompted each carrier: Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile to start offering exchanges and replacements. Even though this was Samsung’s problem it still had an affect on the carrier’s customers who didn’t have phones anymore. Eventually they all suspended sales of the Note7.
Samsung finally pulled the plug this week on the Note7 and cancelled the Note7 entirely. According to a Mashable article, Samsung was unable to actually identify and replicate the issue that was causing the Note7 to explode. This is probably why Samsung killed off the Note7, because if they can’t even identify the problem, they can’t solve the problem.
Here is a quick video from Fox Business discussing the Note7’s discontinuation:
If you’re a Samsung fan, this may make you angry or worried, but Samsung is offering you $100 to stay with Samsung devices, per New York Post.
If you’re Samsung, you should be angered and worried. This caused Samsung’s stock in KRX (Korean Exchange) to plummit, but as of Friday (10/14), it seems to rebounding.
It’s been a rough week for Samsung all around, that’s no doubt. Per Fox Businness, Samsung also cut their quarter 3 profit outlook due to the Note7 fiasco.
Well, Samsung may not be happy, but this sure makes companies like Apple, LG, HTC, and other competitors very happy. Consumers will more than likely leave Samsung for one of those companies, and Apple would probably be the go-to for most. If these companies really wanted to take advantage of this they’d promote and advertise against Samsung while still for their product(s).
On the flip side, Samsung needs to stitch this wound and heal. They already started that by offering customers $100 in credit no to switch from Samsung, but they need to do more. Samsung needs to promote their other phones, regular S7 and S7 Edge, and also discount them. Samsung should bring all carriers to the table to help them advertise and promote those devices and basically bury the Note7 for good.
Samsung is one of the biggest name in the mobile device industry, and electronics in general, and they need to handle this like a market leader would. Samsung makes great devices all around, they just had one of those backfires with a faulty product. Now not knowing why or how the Note7 did what it did to cause its failure isn’t the best thing for a company, but Samsung did the right thing by discontinuing the Note7.
Samsung needs to reassure shareholders and stakeholders, that Samsung is going to rebound and that the Note7 fiasco was just a bump in the road, and that their past it. Like stated above, their competitors are licking their chops at this, but I believe that will be short term, however Samsung;s big partner Google is really licking their chops.
Samsung mainly uses Android for their smartphones, and Android is created by Google, and Google just launched their own smartphones called Pixel. If Google plays their cards right, which they probably will, they’ll use this Note7 fiasco to really push their sales and make the case of Pixel. However Samsung may not like that, but I don’t think they can afford to say if, and, or but to Google. Although Samsung does have a mobile device operating system of their own called Tizen, but it has barely been rolled it out on their devices across the world.
Samsung should and shouldn’t be worried overall, they should be worried because this gives their competition and edge and it’s a let down for their stake and shareholders. They shouldn’t be worried because the issue was only limited to the Note7, and with their brand power, Samsung should have no problem rebounding and making up lost cash. Keep using your Samsung devices, and don’t be discouraged from staying with Samsung or buying Samsung devices.
Image source: http://media.myfoxmemphiscom.cmgdigital.com/photo/2016/10/10/5_Awkward_Moments__Presidential_Debates__0_6310907_ver1.0_640_360.jpg
Again in just 24 hours after the debate, most open internet and twitter polls closed, and all most all declared Trump the winner of the debate. He played defense when he had to, but went on offense the whole night while staying on message. Hillary had no chance.
This post is going to be different than the previous Pulsar analysis, post debate polls will be included and compared. This will will help get a better idea of biased closed polling vs open digital polling.
Of course the post debate polls that came out say Clinton won the debate, but let's compare the results of demographically biased closed polling, versus real time open unbiased polling.
Let's take a look at the infamous CNN/ORC poll shall we:
As you see above, 57% said Hillary won and 34% said Trump won. Would you like to know how this poll was conducted? See below:
This was conducted by telephone at random and there were 9% more democrats than republicans surveyed. Now looking at the second image, you see where the demographic bias comes into play, it shows that only the liberal locked north east and traditionally red south was surveyed.
I know this is done this way on purpose, so i's truly just one vote per person, but compared to complete open polling on the Internet and social media platforms like Twitter, it doesn't seem to reflect the true feeling of the American people.
Trump gets another big C-SPAN victory, beating Hillary by 26%.
For those who don't know who this Twitter account is, they gather and tweet out numerous polls daily and compare to previous as well. Well followed and respected. Trump wins by 38%.
Hillary does log a win in the USA Today poll, but by a close 4 points.
The 1st ever radio station, and one of the local news stations in my home city of Pittsburgh. This poll is interesting because Hillary had a significant win in this poll for the first debate, but Trump wins big this time around. 32%.
US News & World Report:
US News & World Report aren't known for having much of a political bias, but Trump gets the win by 20%.
Trump absolutely dominates the good ol' Drudge poll, wins by around 45%.
These next poll results, should speak for itself, and should pop in your head on Election Day.
Alright, again you be the judge on what polls to trust, I'm just making the argument for the simple Internet polls. About 99% of the open Internet and Twitter polls have Trump as the winner of the second debate, but of course the poll that gets the most attention is the CNN/ORC poll, that was posted first. I really do feel these simple, little, open digital polls are being swept under the rug, or simply not getting the attention they deserve.
Trump kept it under control, and said what needed to be said when he needed to say it. He was under attack by Hillary and both moderators, but he countered it or just steered clear and stayed on message, exactly what he needed to do. He talked the issues, showed strength, and looked like a president. I believe that's why the open polls have him winning.
I still 100% believe the election is going to follow the way of the open Internet polls, and Trump is going to win big league!