|Day's Range||3.4500 - 3.4500|
Don't look now, but a major Hollywood upset just happened... much to the chagrin of streaming outlets. Hollywood Reporter and Deadline sources say that AT&T-owned WarnerMedia is near closing a roughly $500 million deal with Bad Robot, the production studio from J. J. Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath. Bad Robot had reportedly entertained deals from internet-focused companies like Amazon, Apple and Netflix (plus conventional firms like Comcast and Sony), with tipsters claiming that Apple "came close" to landing the deal.
J.J. Abrams is getting close to a deal to join the new media arm of AT&T, according to a report from the New York Times. WarnerMedia is looking to sign an agreement for a multi-year partnership with Abrams' media company valued at about $500 million, the report said, citing anonymous sources. The development comes after a six-month courtship process of Bad Robot, which Abrams runs with Katie McGrath, his wife, that also included Apple and NBCUniversal.
(Bloomberg) -- Dish Network Corp. is in talks to pay at least $6 billion for assets that T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. are unloading to win regulatory approval for their merger, according to people familiar with the matter.Dish could announce a deal as soon as this week for assets including wireless spectrum and Sprint’s Boost Mobile brand, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. The deal hasn’t been finalized and talks could still fall through, said the people.The potential divestitures are aimed at appeasing the Justice Department, which wants T-Mobile and Sprint to sell enough assets to ensure that the U.S. maintains at least four viable wireless players.Representative for Dish and the Justice Department declined to comment. Representatives for T-Mobile and Sprint didn’t respond to requests for comment.Dish rose 1.9% to $39.74 at 1:16 p.m. in New York trading, giving the Englewood, Colorado-based company a market value of about $18.6 billion. Sprint gained about 2.3% while T-Mobile rose 1.3%.T-Mobile agreed to buy Sprint in April 2018 for $26.5 billion, betting that together the carriers can build a next-generation wireless network to better compete with industry leaders Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc.Dish, co-founded by billionaire Charlie Ergen, had been on a shortlist of bidders for T-Mobile and Sprint assets favored by the Justice Department, people familiar with the matter said this month. Charter Communications Inc. and Altice USA Inc. were also on the list.T-Mobile and Sprint have already promised to sell Boost to get approval from the Federal Communications Commission. They also have to win over the Justice Department, which is concerned about the merger reducing the number of major U.S. wireless carriers to three.The companies are negotiating with the Justice Department after nine states and the District of Columbia sued to block the deal last week on antitrust grounds.(Updates companies’ share prices in fifth paragraph; adds background in seventh.)To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at email@example.com;Scott Moritz in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Nabila Ahmed in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Fournier at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Sara Forden at email@example.com, ;Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Matthew MonksFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Telecom has a high level of debt after acquiring Time Warner, but its prodigious cash flow will allow for steady debt reduction over time
BISMARCK, N.D., June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- At AT&T1, we've invested nearly $40 million in our North Dakota wireless and wired networks during 2016-2018. In 2018, AT&T made 326 wireless network upgrades in North Dakota. "Technology is such a critical component to all of North Dakota's industries, from the agricultural fields and the oil patch, to the state's growing autonomous systems and high-tech sectors," said Cheryl Riley, president, AT&T Northern Plains.
VidAngel aims to offer a family-friendly streaming service by filtering out objectionable content such as profanity, nudity, sex and violence.
CARSON CITY, Nev., June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- At AT&T1, we've invested nearly $425 million in our Nevada wireless and wired networks during 2016-2018. "We're always looking for new opportunities to enhance coverage for our customers and FirstNet subscribers," said Stephanie Tyler, president of AT&T Nevada. In 2018, AT&T made nearly 380 wireless network upgrades in Nevada.
Walmart Inc. said Tuesday that it will add wireless experts to 600 more stores by the holidays, part of an overall push to upgrade consumer electronics departments. More than 3,000 Walmart stores will have dedicated wireless experts. Walmart also announced that, starting with AT&T Inc. customers, Walmart shoppers will be able to purchase a complete "postpaid" cell phone on the Walmart website. Each carrier will ultimately have its own page for cell phone purchases. Walmart plans to improve its consumer electronics offering nationwide with live product demos, more accessories and additional enhancements. Walmart stock is up 17% for the year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 13.2% for the period.
Apple (AAPL) is expected to launch 5G-supported iPhones in 2020, much later than other prominent smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Huawei and Motorola.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- At AT&T1, we've invested nearly $200 million in our New Mexico wireless and wired networks during 2016-2018. In 2018, AT&T made nearly 250 wireless network upgrades in New Mexico. AT&T will continue its investment in New Mexico with additional upgrades.
AT&T (T) has a competitive advantage over its rivals with extensive spectrum license wins that cover about 98% of the U.S. population.
U.S. stock futures were rising on Tuesday and European stocks turned higher as investors reacted to comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that suggested further monetary easing just hours ahead of the start of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting. Draghi laid the foundation for a potential re-opening of the ECB's controversial quantitative easing program, telling a conference in Portugal on Tuesday that the bank has room to buy more bonds in order to stoke inflation in the currency area. As for the Fed, traders are pricing in only a 20% chance of a rate cut from Chairman Jerome Powell and the Federal Open Markets Committee, with the balance of bets on a move in July that would take the key target rate to a range of 2% to 2.25%.
AT&T Inc NYSE:TView full report here! Summary * Perception of the company's creditworthiness is neutral * ETFs holding this stock are seeing positive inflows * Bearish sentiment is low * Economic output for the sector is expanding but at a slower rate Bearish sentimentShort interest | PositiveShort interest is extremely low for T with fewer than 1% of shares on loan. This could indicate that investors who seek to profit from falling equity prices are not currently targeting T. Money flowETF/Index ownership | PositiveETF activity is positive. Over the last month, ETFs holding T are favorable, with net inflows of $12.19 billion. Additionally, the rate of inflows is increasing. Economic sentimentPMI by IHS Markit | NegativeAccording to the latest IHS Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data, output in the Telecommunications Services sector is rising. The rate of growth is weak relative to the trend shown over the past year, however, and is easing. Credit worthinessCredit default swap | NeutralThe current level displays a neutral indicator. T credit default swap spreads are near their highest levels of the last 3 years, which indicates the market's more negative perception of the company's credit worthiness.Please send all inquiries related to the report to email@example.com.Charts and report PDFs will only be available for 30 days after publishing.This document has been produced for information purposes only and is not to be relied upon or as construed as investment advice. To the fullest extent permitted by law, IHS Markit disclaims any responsibility or liability, whether in contract, tort (including, without limitation, negligence), equity or otherwise, for any loss or damage arising from any reliance on or the use of this material in any way. Please view the full legal disclaimer and methodology information on pages 2-3 of the full report.
Shares of AT&T (NYSE:T) haven't gone anywhere for a long time. As the telecommunications giant has struggled with cord-cutting and wireless competition headwinds over the past several years, the company's revenues and profits have struggled to make meaningful upward progress. As a result, T stock has failed to move much higher.Source: Shutterstock In mid-2012, the AT&T stock price stood at $33. Today, seven years later in mid-2019, shares still trade hands around $33.Lack of progress on the bottom line has prompted this sideways movement in T stock. Pre-tax profits in the year ended December 2013 were around $28 billion. Last year, they were around $25 billion. Without progress on the bottom line, we'll likely see further aimless trading.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBut three big reasons drive belief that net profits will start making sustainable upward growth in 2019. Moreover, that trajectory should continue over the next several years. Plus, an underappreciated catalyst could spark a huge rally in the AT&T stock price.Thus, contrarians have four tailwinds to deliver upside in 2019 and 2020, which are as follows: Wireless Competition Headwind Is ModerationA ruthless pricing war in the wireless-coverage industry imposed a critical headwind on AT&T stock over the past several years. * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today Specifically, as wireless coverage has become largely commoditized, multiple wireless-coverage players offered similar plans as the major players; thus, price became the differentiating quality in this space. This has driven wireless prices across the industry lower, naturally weighing on AT&T's margins.This headwind should moderate going forward. Specifically, the industry's two biggest price "under-cutters," T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) and Sprint (NYSE:S), are set to merge. As these rivals stop competing, the volume of price-slashers across the whole industry should come down. The market will turn rational. That means competitors will emphasize their services' value and rely less on promotions.The result will be higher margins for AT&T, and likely a boost for T stock. The 5G Boom Will Provide a Healthy TailwindThe second tailwind for margins should be AT&T's ability to differentiate on the quality front through enhanced 5G coverage.The next big thing in the wireless coverage industry is the 5G boom. Mainstream rollout of this new coverage paradigm is set to happen throughout 2019 and 2020. Importantly, this rollout will "de-commoditize" wireless coverage: only the top dogs will be able to offer the best 5G coverage. AT&T is one of those top dogs.As such, AT&T can differentiate itself on quality, giving it more pricing power in the wireless-coverage market. That enhanced pricing power should flow through into bigger margins.Overall, then, AT&T's wireless margins should move meaningfully higher over the next several years. That should provide a robust lift to the company's profits. The Streaming Pivot Will Offset Cord-Cutting WeaknessThe other big headwind which has weighed on AT&T's profits over the past several years has been cord-cutting. Specifically, everyone and their best friend is switching to streaming. However, this dynamic has disadvantaged AT&T's linear programming business.But much like Disney (NYSE:DIS), AT&T is planning to offset this cord-cutting weakness through a full-scale pivot into streaming. With the acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T has amassed a large portfolio of rich and valuable content. It can then package that content into one streaming service, which is reportedly set to launch later this year.Given the content firepower behind this streaming service, it should launch to exceptional demand. In turn, I expect growth to a sizable subscriber base over the next several years, ultimately helping the bottom line. AT&T Stock Price Is Too Cheap for Its Own GoodGiven the three aforementioned tailwinds, AT&T's depressed profit base is finally ready to make sustainable moves higher. As it does, AT&T stock should rally immensely.Why? Because AT&T stock is too cheap for its own good. The equity's forward-earnings multiple is so low, and the dividend yield so big that the two are nearly equal (nine-times forward earnings, and a 6%-plus dividend yield).With such a dynamic, AT&T stock is not priced for profit growth: it's priced for continued profit erosion. As such, if profit growth does come into the picture, shares could benefit massively from the positive surprise. Bottom Line on T StockAT&T stock hasn't gone anywhere for a long time, mostly because profits also haven't gone anywhere. But profits should start moving higher in 2019 and continue to make upward progress over the next several years.As they do, T stock should rally in a meaningful way. Because most likely, shares are about as cheap as they get.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long T and DIS stock. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 5 Red-Hot IPO Stocks to Buy for the Long Run * 5 Stocks to Buy for $20 or Less * 4 Dow Jones Stocks Ready to Rise Compare Brokers The post 4 Big Reasons to Buy AT&T Stock for 2019 and 2020 appeared first on InvestorPlace.
AT&T Inc.* is the winning bidder for spectrum licenses covering more than 98% of the U.S. population following the close of FCC Auction 102. The company won 24 GHz spectrum in 383 Partial Economic Areas (PEAs) for a nationwide average of 254 MHz. All of the licenses won were in the more valuable upper 500 MHz portion of the 24 GHz band, giving AT&T stronger nationwide coverage and additional spectrum depth and capacity in many top markets where demand is often greatest.
AT&T; is upgrading its wireless network after buying Time Warner. AT&T; earnings are stalling and shares are far off highs. Is AT&T; stock a buy right now?
The past year has been exciting, if not a little stomach-churning. A raucous 25% rally to start the year unwound a miserable last few months of 2018, but that big advance has been chopped by one-third just since the beginning of May.Thus, when picking the best stocks to buy for the rest of 2019, you have to approach your selections with volatility - namely, avoiding it - in mind.Maybe the year's second act will be a little less exciting and a little more consistent for investors than the first. But with Chinese trade relations in limbo, Brexit still in the air and uncertainty about the Federal Reserve's future plans for interest rates, calm is far from a guarantee.To that end, here are the best stocks to buy for the rest of 2019. Not only are these stock picks a little less vulnerable to the volatility we've seen of late, but they each have solid backstories and/or fundamentals that should prove attractive if the hazy backdrop remains. SEE ALSO: The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 48 Buffett Stocks
The trade war rhetoric has had a negative impact on investor sentiment as well as prices of many tech stocks. As weeks go by, not many analysts believe that the U.S. and China are likely to conclude a comprehensive trade agreement soon. The negotiations may well drag out right up to the U.S. presidential elections. Therefore, the recent volatility we have experienced, especially in the tech sector, is likely to stay with us for a while.Today, I am going to discuss three tech stocks that may be appropriate for investors who are looking for stocks that have had pullbacks in price and thus offer better risk/reward ratios than they did several months ago. These stocks are Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), AT&T (NYSE:T) and Oracle (NYSE:ORCL).I believe investors who buy into the shares of BABA, T or ORCL at any upcoming dip or even around the current levels will be rewarded well in a few years.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today Shareholders who are still concerned about potential short-term risks may also consider hedging their positions. In that case, covered calls or put spreads with July 19 expiry could be appropriate as straight put purchases are likely to be expensive due to heightened volatility. Alibaba (BABA)Source: Shutterstock Notable Tailwind Catalysts: High growth in business segments, including e-commerce, cloud and electronic payments; potential end to U.S.-China trade warsExpected Price Range Until Next Earnings in late August: $135-$165The current environment offers valid reasons to be concerned about Chinese stocks, including Alibaba, the e-commerce giant. Alibaba's share price has thus seen a significant amount of weakness of late. Over the past year, the stock is down over 21%.BABA stock has been increasingly volatile on the back of the recent earnings released on May 15 as well as the U.S.-China trade war and Chinese economic concerns.Yet Wall Street concurs that with a population of almost 1.4 billion people, China's economic growth is still in its early stages and that the Chinese middle class is likely to expand for a long time.Furthermore, consumer disposable incomes are also going up, fueling growth in many sectors, including e-commerce.In fact, the e-commerce market in China is forecast to almost double within the next four years to reach $1.8 trillion. Therefore, even if the Chinese economic growth pauses for a few quarters to come, the country's growth potential is intact.Alibaba's current share of the Chinese e-commerce space is almost 60%. Many analysts believe that BABA's bottom line is not going to be too adversely affected by these current trade wars as its business model is tied to China directly, decreasing the long-term risks of bi-party trade wars.BABA's core e-commerce business contributes to about 85% of its revenue. Yet BABA is rapidly expanding into many other lucrative industries, including cloud computing infrastructure, digital payments, online entertainment and food delivery.Alibaba's concentrated push deeper into cloud computing is increasingly being compared to the success of Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) cloud business. In cloud computing, BABA is now the market leader in Asia.In 2018, Alibaba merged its food delivery platform Ele.med with its lifestyle app Koubei to be able to capture a higher market share in servicing "hungry customers" and to better compete with Meituan, which is backed by Tencent Holdings (OTCMKTS:TCEHY).As a result of increased diversification, Alibaba's revenue is expected to grow by double-digit-percentage rates. Such a growth rate would indeed be impressive for a company with a market cap of $415 billion.On May 15, when BABA released its quarterly results, both sales and earnings exceeded estimates. Total revenue came at $56.1 billion, an increase of 51% year-over-year.In the earnings statement, shareholders paid attention to four main areas: * Core commerce (BABA's largest segment grew 54% YoY); * Cloud computing (revenue soared 76% YoY); * Digital media and entertainment (revenue increased 8% YoY); and * Innovation initiatives (where revenue jumped 22% YoY ).One important highlight was that BABA's mobile monthly active users (MAUs) on its e-commerce platforms reached 721 million. The owners of BABA stock will be interested to know the corresponding number to be released in the next statement in late August.Another metric to pay attention to is Alibaba's operating margin, which currently stands at 15%. Over the years, BABA's high operating margin has contributed to its profitability, which has been even higher than that of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). BABA's net profit margin is also over 23%. In short, Alibaba is showing strong performance across the board.Finally, forward-looking investors may want to pay attention to BABA's international growth numbers too. Currently, more than 90% of the e-commerce giant sales are made in China.But BABA also has investments in start-ups in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Higher incomes and rising internet penetration rates are likely to strengthen both regions' e-commerce markets and contribute to BABA's bottom line.Given the fundamental strength of the company, I regard BABA stock buy-worthy at current levels.However, in the coming weeks, I do not expect BABA stock to regain its recent high of $195.72, which was last seen on May 3.Instead, BABA stock is likely to trade in a range, between $165 and $135, for several weeks, possibly until its next earnings report expected in late-August.The daily volatility of Alibaba stock is high, giving it a wide trading range, so short-term traders should proceed with caution. Nonetheless, long-term investors could view any decline in BABA stock as a good opportunity to buy into the shares. AT&T (T)Source: Shutterstock Notable Tailwind Catalysts: High growth in business segments; growing content through WarnerMedia; decreasing debt levels; respectable dividend yieldExpected Price Range Until Next Earnings in late July: $30-$37.5As internet-based communication becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives, I find AT&T shares well-positioned to benefit from various commercial opportunities that would eventually benefit the stock price. June has already rewarded T investors well; the stock is up over 7% so far.Yet over the past few years, AT&T stock had lagged behind the broader market. Within the past 12 months, the stock has basically remained flat. The T share price on June 14, 2018 closed at $32.52. A year later, T stock is hovering around the same level.Even though the company has a strong brand and wireless infrastructure -- two factors that are likely to make it a dominant player in the 5G sphere -- the AT&T stock price has not yet reflected the company's robust forward-looking potential.Thus, now may be a good time for investors to decide whether the rest of the year could witness a sustained up move in the price of T shares.AT&T reported Q1 2019 earnings on April 24. With a market capitalization of $230 billion, the Dallas-based group breaks down revenue into six main segments: * Mobility (includes wireless subscribers) * Entertainment Group (includes DirecTV and U-Verse customers) * Business Wireless (provides services to companies and the government) * Latin America (includes Latin American and Mexican operations) * Warner Media (includes HBO, Turner and Warner Bros.) * Xandr (handles all advertising business)This diversified revenue stream of T stock is important for long-term shareholders who do not want to worry too much about short-term volatility.The company's key Mobility wireless segment generated revenue of $17.57 million, up 1.2% year-over-year. AT&T also added wireless subscribers and its domestic wireless business is neck and neck with Verizon (NYSE:VZ) for market share.In June 2018, a federal court approved the merger of AT&T's $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner -- a deal that has now turned AT&T into a media giant and "content king."This merger has been weighing on the T stock price for some time; however, the rest of 2019 should see the question marks slowly disappear.In the quarterly report, investors cheered that the group was selling off assets to decrease its debt burden. Indeed, over the past few quarters, AT&T's debt load had been on Wall Street's radar. The company finished 2018 with $171 billion of debt.The group has recently sold its minority stake in Hulu, a premium streaming service, to Hulu's other owners Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), for almost $1.5 billion.Acquiring Time Warner has bloated this debt load. However, the communications giant is now working to cut costs and debt at the same time. Management realizes the importance of decreasing the level of debt sooner than later.In addition to the company's strong earnings power through telecom and media-related operations, T stock also offers a strong dividend yield at over 6.3%. AT&T's dividend is a big attraction for many long-term investors seeking passive income. * The 10 Best Index Funds to Buy and Hold In short, along with the rest of the market, T stock could experience volatility near term. But long-term, the prospects for AT&T stock are robust and it offers a respectable dividend yield for income investors. Qualcomm (QCOM)Source: Shutterstock Notable Tailwind Catalysts: High growth in business segments; moving on from recent regulatory probes and legal headlines; 5G Leadership; respectable dividend yieldExpected Price Range Until Next Earnings in late July: $55-$75Shares of Qualcomm, the leading supplier of modem technology for smartphones, have been in a free fall since early May.On May 2, QCOM stock saw an intraday high of $90.34. Then on May 29, Qualcomm shares closed at $65.76.Legal headlines were mainly behind the unforgiving drop in the QCOM stock price. A federal regulatory probe recently concluded that the company had violated antitrust laws and that its licensing fees were too high.Qualcomm stock reports revenues in three main segments: * QCT (Qualcomm CDMA Technologies); * QTL (Qualcomm Technology Licensing); * QSI (Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives)Wall Street saw the ruling as having a negative impact on Qualcomm's QCT (i.e., chipmaking) and QTL (i.e., patent licensing) segements.Qualcomm is the largest maker of chips for smartphones, and its chipsets account for about two-thirds of its total revenue. Its chipmaking QCT segment produces the Snapdragon mobile system on a chip (SoC), a semiconductor product which bundles together a CPU, GPU and modem in a single unit.Its second-highest source of revenue is mobile-phone royalties and licensing. About 60% of its pre-tax profits are from its patent-licensing division, thanks to royalties from 3G and 4G technologies the chip giant helped invent.Qualcomm's patent portfolio is crucial for the company and the licensing business is the higher-margin segment of the three segments.The chip giant is currently appealing this ruling. Although the company may be successful in overturning the ruling, going forward, there is likely to be further choppiness in the stock price.In other words, if the company loses the appeal, the result could be fewer chipset sales in the QCT segment as well as much lower QTL patent licensing revenue for Qualcomm stock.On the other hand, a successful appeal could push QCOM stock upward, possibly to new highs. Yet, it will probably be several months before the company has a final answer from the courts.Analysts believe QCOM will also play a dominant and early role in 5G, replicating its success with 3G and 4G mobile networks. If the analysts are correct, then Qualcomm stock is indeed a good pick for long-term investors. The company is likely to provide a significant part of the intellectual property that will be used to develop 5G communication standards.Recent legal troubles and the subsequent share price drop in QCOM have followed the positive headlines in the second half of April. The chipmaker and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had announced earlier that they had finalized a favorable agreement regarding intellectual property licensing fees for chips used in Apple's mobile devices.This agreement now dismisses all outstanding litigation between the two parties. Because of the success of the settlement, QCOM believes its revenues are likely to double annually in Q3 (the group's fiscal 2020 starts on Oct. 1).In other words, over the past few weeks, important legal developments have been the main driver behind the major volatility in QCOM stock. Therefore, as the dust settles, I expect investors to concentrate once again on the bottom-line results as well as the leadership position of the company.Meanwhile, the 3.6% dividend yield of QCOM stock and the generous stock repurchase program are likely to act as support in case the price of Qualcomm shares declines further in the coming weeks.For investors not familiar with Qualcomm, this drop in its share price may provide a good opportunity to research the company and decide if they would like to include QCOM stock in a long-term portfolio.Tezcan Gecgil holds covered calls on T and VZ stock (June 21 expiry). More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * The 7 Best Tech Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today * 4 Semiconductor Stocks to Sell Compare Brokers The post 3 Leading Tech Stocks I'd Buy On A Dip appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- A group of states sued to block T-Mobile US Inc.’s proposed takeover of Sprint Corp. on antitrust grounds, putting pressure on the Justice Department as it nears a final decision on the merger of the two wireless carriers.State attorneys general from nine states and the District of Columbia filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in New York to stop a deal they say will harm competition and raise prices for consumers by at least $4.5 billion a year.“When it comes to corporate power, bigger isn’t always better,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “This is exactly the sort of consumer-harming, job-killing mega-merger our antitrust laws were designed to prevent.”The states’ challenge is a major setback to T-Mobile’s and Sprint’s plan to combine and take on industry leaders AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. Last month, the carriers cleared a key hurdle when they won support for their deal from the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.The all-Democratic attorneys general are taking the rare step of suing to block the $26.5 billion deal while the Justice Department is still reviewing the merger. State enforcers have the authority to go to court to block a merger even if federal officials at the Justice Department and the FCC approve it. Sprint shares dropped 6.4% at 12:15 p.m. in New York trading. T-Mobile fell 1.7%.The spread between T-Mobile’s offer price and Sprint shares is the widest since May 17. It’s a sign that investors are more doubtful that a deal will get done.Sprint and T-Mobile representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The case, which was filed under seal, puts pressure on Makan Delrahim, the head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division. He can either side with the states, which say the merger should be blocked, or negotiate a remedy that would allow the deal to proceed. Delrahim doesn’t think a settlement with the FCC goes far enough to resolve competition problems from the deal and is in talks with the companies about additional concessions.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:T-Mobile getting its proposed $27 billion acquisition of Sprint past regulatory hurdles is no done deal, though the companies have some defenses that stand a chance. The Department of Justice has expressed interest in the competitive potential of 5G technology and a strong competitor to AT&T and Verizon in that area. The outcome depends to a great extent on whether the evidence supports T-Mobile’s assertions about future market dynamics and 5G competition.\--Jennifer Rie, litigation analystClick here to view the pieceThe state attorneys general say that combining T-Mobile and Sprint would eliminate competition between them and lead to higher prices. And in a more consolidated market, AT&T and Verizon would also be able to charge more.“Although T-Mobile and Sprint may be promising faster, better, and cheaper service with this merger, the evidence weighs against it,” said California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “This merger would hurt the most vulnerable Californians and result in a compressed market with fewer choices and higher prices.”In the retail mobile wireless market, not including enterprise accounts, T-Mobile and Sprint would lead AT&T and Verizon in market share, according to the states. In some areas of the country, their market share would be more than 50%, they said. Harm from the tie-up will disproportionately fall on lower-income consumers who are customers of Sprint and T-Mobile’s pre-paid brands, Boost and Metro, they say.Deal InvestigationAccording to people familiar with their thinking, state officials don’t know whether the Justice Department will ultimately approve the deal. They are taking action because after investigating the merger for about a year they determined it violated antitrust laws and they don’t see any reason to wait for the Justice Department to make a decision, the people said.The states’ investigation, led by the chief of New York’s antitrust bureau, Beau Buffier, relied on technical and economic experts, according to one of the people. Their economists are Carl Shapiro of the University of California at Berkeley and Yale University’s Fiona Scott Morton, the person said.The case comes more than a year after T-Mobile and Sprint announced the deal to combine, claiming together they could better compete with Verizon and AT&T while speeding deployment of the next generation of wireless technology known as 5G. Although a previous attempt to merge was frustrated by the Obama administration, T-Mobile and Sprint were betting on a more receptive audience from the Trump officials.The tie-up’s fate now rests with a federal judge, who must decide whether it should be blocked on antitrust grounds. The companies could still reach a settlement before the case goes to trial.If the carriers are stopped from completing the deal, they would be left to their own to compete in a maturing wireless market while financing expensive investments in developing their own 5G networks.‘Supercharge’ T-MobileSprint’s challenges are bigger. Despite becoming profitable last year after a decade of losses, it warned the FCC that without a deal it sees “no obvious path to solve key business challenges.”T-Mobile Chief Executive Office John Legere took the lead on Capitol Hill -- and on social media -- advocating for the deal. He said the transaction would “supercharge” his company, which he made a maverick competitor in the market. The centerpiece of his case was that combining with Sprint would help the U.S. lead in 5G technology, a priority for the Trump administration.That argument was dismissed by opponents of the deal, including consumer groups and the Communications Workers of America, which said the merger would reduce choice, lead to higher wireless bills and cause job losses.Getting a deal with T-Mobile was a long-held plan of Masayoshi Son, the chairman of SoftBank Group Corp., which owns Sprint. In 2014, he came to Washington vowing a price war if he was able to acquire T-Mobile and personally lobbied U.S. officials about a potential tie-up. If the deal goes through, T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom will end up with a 42% ownership stake while SoftBank will own 27%.(Updates with statement from James in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Scott Moritz.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Erik Larson in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Joe Schneider, David GlovinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Yahoo Finance's Adam Shaprio and Julie Hyman sit down with Cornell Capital Partner Ann Berry and Cumberland Advisors Chairman & Chief Investment Officer David Kotok to discuss.