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Mergers involving communications providers tripled in value between 2012 and 2014, from $110bn to $336bn. Deals valued over $5bn numbered 12 in 2014, twice the 2013 total. However, this M&A activity may be peaking.


  • Total communications sector M&A deals numbered 85 in 2012, 109 in 2013, and 116 in 2014.
  • In total there were twelve mergers valued over $5bn announced in 2014. Many are still undergoing regulatory review. One (BT-EE) is yet to be formally announced, as the parties are still doing due diligence and finalizing terms.
  • Each merger has its own story; there is no single unifying driver. However, the largest two deals, both worth $67bn and US-centric, do have a common theme: video. One involves a large integrated telco (AT&T) buying a satellite-based video provider, thereby accelerating the telco’s push into video. The other big US deal involves consolidation of the US cable TV market, a combination of Comcast with Time Warner Cable.

Features and Benefits

  • Evaluates the market for telco M&A deals in light of recent results.
  • Analyzes the drivers behind different types of deals.
  • Assesses the outlook for future telco M&A.

Key questions answered

  • What is driving the current round of telco M&A?
  • What is the outlook for additional M&A?
  • What kind of deals are most likely in the future?
  • What role do Internet content providers play in telco M&A?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Pace of telco M&A deal-making accelerated in 2014
  • Twelve deals over $5bn were announced in 2014
  • Quick integration key to M&A success in a volatile market


  • Further reading
  • Author

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