Tech Industry

Is a Verizon-Charter merger in the works?

Rumors are swirling around about a merger between the communications giant and the cable provider.

Verizon and Charter Communications are reportedly in talks for a merger.

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Verizon and Charter Communications are reportedly looking to join forces.

The two giants are interested in combining into a media behemoth, according to The Wall Street Journal. Verizon has tapped advisers to help navigate the potential of the massive proposal, the Journal reported.

A deal, if it comes to fruition, would be the latest consolidating the telecom and media industries, where both are facing digital headwinds. Cable companies like Charter are battling the cord-cutting trend among people who opt for online alternatives, while mobile carriers face intensifying competition on price and a struggle to keep up subscriber growth.

Verizon rival AT&T purchased the biggest pay-TV provider in the US, DirecTV, for about $48.5 billion in 2014, leading the mobile carrier to launch a virtual TV-streaming service late last year. Charter's stock is worth about $80 million.

Both Verizon and Charter declined to comment. Sources familiar with the two companies told Reuters that no proposal has been made. Verizon has been on a streak of media buys in recent years, taking on Yahoo for $4.83 billion in 2016 and AOL for $4.4 billion in 2015.

The rumors of a merger with Charter go against Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams' remarks in October 2016, when he said the company was investing more in digital media.

With more than 114 million wireless subscribers, Verizon's customers would join the 17 million customers subscribed to Charter's TV services, and 21 million hooked up to its internet connections.

If the plan to combine did go through, Verizon would have an antitrust maze to go through under the Trump administration. The president has vowed to kill AT&T's similar $85.4 billion mega-merger with Time Warner during his campaign.