Liberty Media Chairman John Malone speculated that the top three cable companies could respond to converging wireless competition by teaming up to buy T-Mobile US.
Speaking to investors at a Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. event Tuesday, and event covered by Bloomberg, the all-around global telecommunications business titan also suggested that, “One could contemplate in a Trump administration Comcast and Charter could merge,” he said, referring to the No. 1 and No. 2 cable TV providers.
None of the three top U.S. cable companies, Comcast, Charter and Cox, would comment on this speculation.
A T-Mobile representative also declined comment. However, she referred Bloomberg to comments made by T-Mobile CEO John Legere last week, saying that Comcast and Charter, who are attempting to enter the wireless business through MVNO agreements with Verizon, will be in “full retreat” by the end of this year.
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Malone’s comments came amid a broader discussion about what he feels will be a decidedly deregulatory climate under far right President-elect Donald Trump—a climate the Liberty Chairman believes could spur a wave of further consolidation in the telecom industry.
Malone also said that he has sold off more companies in his career than he has acquired. “I’d be bigger than Warren Buffett today if I hadn’t spun s*** off,” he said. “My goal has always been to maximize long term shareholder wealth.”