The Smart Trader

by
Joe Expert

AT&T has approached satellite TV operator DirecTV about a possible merger, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper reported that DirecTV would be “open to a deal” with the second largest mobile service provider in the US, but did not cite its source. Analysts suggest the potential acquisition would cost AT&T north of $40 billion, the current market capitalisation of DirecTV. Currently boasting 20 million customers, DirecTV is the second biggest pay TV operator in America. The proposed merger would see AT&T gain a stronghold in pay television, thus affording it the opportunity to develop bundled wireless and TV services. Telecom giants AT&T and Verizon have been increasingly directing focus towards broadband services in recent years; the traditional fixed telephone market is in sharp decline.

by
Joe Expert

Google Inc. today announced the acquisition of Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar powered high altitude drones, for an undisclosed amount. The Titan team is expected to operate in tandem with Google’s Project Loon group in developing balloons for dispensing widespread affordable internet to rural areas. The move comes as no surprise with Facebook recently revealing its own intentions to integrate drone technology into global internet plans. Zuckerberg’s social network purchased UK based Ascenta in late March for $20 million to develop similar technology. Both Ascenta and Titan are making huge strides in advancing existing technology. It is envisaged that the solar powered drones will hover at heights up to 19.8km above sea level for years at a time.

by
Joe Expert

Comcast Corporation has officially launched the regulatory review process for its proposed $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC). USA’s largest cable company issued a filing with the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday specifying the benefits of merging with TWC. Both companies claim the merger would help towards increased competition in high-speed internet and cable TV services; thus benefitting advertisers, small businesses and ultimately consumers. Executive Vice President at Comcast, David Cohen, alluded to the obsolete “traditional boundaries between media, communications and technology” in advocating the merger. To date, the merger has met with opposition on a number of fronts (as predicted here - Comcast acquisition..).

by
Joe Expert

Google Inc. today completed its long awaited 2-for-1 stock split on a frantic day at the NASDAQ stock exchange. Prior to the split, Google had two share classes in existence; Class A shares, holding one vote and Class B shares, carrying ten votes. Naturally, Class B shares were and remain predominantly held by Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. This is represented in the fact that they hold a 55.7% majority voting stake in the world’s third largest company, despite owning less than 16% of its stock. So what’s actually changing? Put simply, Google has decided to split Class A shares into two, hence creating a new Class C share. Here’s how it’s going to work: