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  • Yesterday, 5:36 PM
    • AT&T's (T -0.1%) deal to acquire Time Warner (TWX +0.7%) adds up for consumers, according to Activate founder Michael Wolf.
    • Wolf, formerly chief operating officer of MTV Networks, thinks the deal can go forward even with previous threats from president-elect Donald Trump about blocking it.
    • "This deal makes a lot of sense from a consumer perspective," Wolf says. "It's not taking away any real control of voices in the Internet or in media."
    • Helping AT&T's cause there: a likely rollback of power at the FCC, which has authority over many deals with a mandate for the best interest of consumers.
    • Broadcasters like Sinclair (SBGI -1.9%) are also likely to be able to buy more stations despite being up against an ownership limit today, Wolf says.
    | Yesterday, 5:36 PM | 16 Comments
  • Thu, Dec. 8, 5:03 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) says Vice Chairman Ralph de la Vega is retiring at year's end.
    • De la Vega, who was formerly chief of mobile and had been instrumental in launching Apple's iPhone in the U.S., moved to the vice chairman's role in February but continued to run the Mexico wireless unit at the time.
    • He'll be succeeded by Thaddeus Arroyo, who's leaving his own post at leadership of the Mexico operation. De la Vega had spent 42 years with the company and is retiring at 65.
    • Earlier, the company said Kelly King would take over its Mexico operations from Arroyo.
    | Thu, Dec. 8, 5:03 PM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Dec. 8, 3:01 PM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) has set the new chief of its Mexico unit, naming Kelly King to lead the strategically important business.
    • King had led a regional consumer mobile division that touched 12 states in the U.S., and will take over for Thaddeus Arroyo, who is becoming CEO of the company's Business Solutions and International unit.
    | Thu, Dec. 8, 3:01 PM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Dec. 7, 11:40 AM
    • Among early testifiers, and in favor of the deal, is Mark Cuban (interesting snippet here via Cheddar): "In the past, we went to our media ... Today our media comes to us ... The idea that TV is the dominant content delivery mechanism no longer is valid." These two companies need to combine, he says, just to have a chance to compete with the true dominant content providers: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon.
    • AT&T (T +1.5%) CEO Randall Stephenson promises consumers "better priced options than they have today." More: "There is a huge segment of our market that wants a bundle that doesn't involve sports."
    • TWX is fluctuating on both sides of unchanged.
    • WSJ live blog
    | Wed, Dec. 7, 11:40 AM | 11 Comments
  • Wed, Dec. 7, 4:46 AM
    • The top executives of AT&T (NYSE:T) and Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) will defend their proposed $85B merger before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today, arguing that by combining, they will "disrupt" the long-established cable TV model in ways that will benefit consumers.
    • However, the tie-up has already raised concerns from the right and left and taken flak from President-elect Donald Trump over its potential impacts on the industry as well as its sheer size.
    | Wed, Dec. 7, 4:46 AM | 22 Comments
  • Mon, Dec. 5, 3:46 PM
    • Through powering a 5G network within Intel offices in Austin, expanding on work done previously with both Intel and Ericsson.
    • AT&T (T +0.2%) notes the trial is the first of its kind, effectively marking a transition from the lab to the field.
    • Concept tests involving internet access, VPN, Unified Communications applications and 4K video streams to comprise duration of the trial term.
    • Related (October 18): Qualcomm eyes commercial 5G modem integration by 2018
    | Mon, Dec. 5, 3:46 PM | 8 Comments
  • Fri, Dec. 2, 2:02 PM
    • Agency raises dispute over AT&T's (T -0.9%) plans to exclude the company's just-announced DirecTV Now service from data expenses paid by carrier customers, addressing similar notice on related practices to Verizon (VZ -0.3%). Deterrence of competition from external services including Netflix, Hulu and other streaming providers, along with negative impact on consumers are argued.
    • Both AT&T and Verizon have responded to the matter, citing compliance with in-place rules and benefits to consumers through cost savings.
    • The development marks a reiteration of concerns over such policies previously brought to light.
    | Fri, Dec. 2, 2:02 PM | 27 Comments
  • Fri, Dec. 2, 9:01 AM
    • Candidate Donald Trump was strongly against the AT&T (NYSE:T)/Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) tie-up, but president-elect Trump's transition team has reassured T that its deal will be evaluated without prejudice, reports the FT.
    • AT&T is encouraged by appointments to the transition team of two former competition officials with a history of hands-off attitude on antitrust. Talks with the team have AT&T believing its purchase will pass regulatory muster.
    • University of Michigan professor Erik Gordon says he expects a Trump administration to turn tough on deals only when they might result in job losses. Gordon: “The Obama administration seemed to have an almost gut, visceral dislike of big powerful companies. I think the Trump administration doesn’t have that."
    | Fri, Dec. 2, 9:01 AM | 51 Comments
  • Thu, Dec. 1, 1:57 PM
    • As sourced by the Financial Times, executive confidence the $85B deal, despite concern over possible regulatory obstacles, has been communicated.
    • AT&T (T) remains unmoved on the session.
    | Thu, Dec. 1, 1:57 PM | 16 Comments
  • Thu, Dec. 1, 11:46 AM
    • November monthly performance was: +2.44%
    • AUM of $1.26B
    • 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: +6%
    • $0.18 in dividends were paid in November
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 10/31/2016: Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM): 5.06236%, AT&T Inc (T): 5.00966%, Verizon Communications Inc (VZ): 3.95123%, Chevron Corp (CVX): 3.90836%, General Electric Co (GE): 3.34327%, Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 3.22338%, Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT): 2.96781%, Philip Morris International Inc (PM): 2.82773%, Pfizer Inc (PFE): 2.73807%, Merck & Co Inc (MRK): 2.31749%
    | Thu, Dec. 1, 11:46 AM
  • Thu, Dec. 1, 10:54 AM
    • November monthly performance was: +2.66%
    • AUM of $18.8B
    • 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: +1%
    • No dividends were paid in November
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 9/30/2016: General Mills Inc (GIS): 2.95066%, AT&T Inc (T): 2.90074%, Coca-Cola Co (KO): 2.73316%, The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (HIG): 2.54395%, Exelon Corp (EXC): 2.51904%, PPL Corp (PPL): 2.41072%, Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 2.34328%, Suncor Energy Inc (SU): 2.27143%, The Kraft Heinz Co (KHC): 1.91049%, Campbell Soup Co (CPB): 1.87577%
    | Thu, Dec. 1, 10:54 AM
  • Thu, Dec. 1, 8:49 AM
    • November monthly performance was: +3.54%
    • AUM of $5.18M
    • 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: -3%
    • No dividends were paid in November
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 10/31/2016: Apple Inc (AAPL): 6.80131%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT): 5.15024%, Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM): 3.74079%, General Electric Co (GE): 2.88197%, Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 2.47992%, AT&T Inc (T): 2.43052%, Wells Fargo & Co (WFC): 2.30872%, Amazon.com Inc (AMZN): 2.24391%, Facebook Inc A (FB): 2.2067%, Alphabet Inc C (GOOG): 2.16615%
    | Thu, Dec. 1, 8:49 AM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Nov. 28, 4:38 PM
    • Launching November 30.
    • Availability – Android devices and tablets, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Fire TV Stick, Chromecast (Android on launch, iOS 2017), Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari browsers, Google Cast-enabled LeEco ecotvs and VIZIO SmartCast Displays. Roku and other device compatibility planned for 2017.
    • Packages – Live a Little ($35/month, 60+ channels), Just Right ($50/month, 80+ channels), Go Big ($60/month, 80+ channels) [launch promotion for $35/month], Gotta Have It ($70/month, 120+ channels)
    • HBO and Cinemax add-ons available at $5/month.
    • Promotions noted in collaboration with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) [Apple TV included with any package prepaid for 3 months], Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) [Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote included with any package prepaid for 1 month], LeEco [service included for variable timeframes with purchase of certain smartphones and TVs] and Lenovo (OTCPK:LNVGY) [1 month service included with purchase of laptops with Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processors].
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) shares are unmoved (+0.03%) in extended trading at $39.55.
    • Launch event live-stream
    • DirecTV Now
    | Mon, Nov. 28, 4:38 PM | 90 Comments
  • Sun, Nov. 27, 7:51 AM
    • Investors will be looking for specifics when AT&T (NYSE:T) unveils its long-promised over-the-top video service tomorrow as the company attempts to get a foothold in the future of how Americans watch television.
    • Many details are still missing about pricing tiers, channel lineups and bundling options for DirecTV Now, which is scheduled to launch soon and be priced starting at $35/month.
    | Sun, Nov. 27, 7:51 AM | 37 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 22, 3:37 PM
    • With $4.5B of short interest, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) leads the way, followed by IBM at $3.7B. Rounding out the top ten: AT&T (NYSE:T), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Boeing (NYSE:BA), GE, Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Abbot Labs (NYSE:ABT) and Disney (NYSE:DIS).
    • Most interesting from that list are Cat, Boeing, and Abbot Labs as their market caps are significantly smaller than the other seven.
    • Of the top 50 short positions, there are two names in which the short interest rises to as high as 10% of the market cap: Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) and Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR).
    • Previously: Goldman's list of stock longs mattering most to hedge funds (Nov. 22)
    | Tue, Nov. 22, 3:37 PM | 19 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 22, 10:12 AM
    • Although the President-elect has railed against companies like NBCUniversal and Amazon for being too big, the advisers Trump named to help oversee his FCC and DOJ transitions have a history of being very pro-industry and anti-regulation, particularly when it comes to mergers.
    • That could be good news for AT&T's (T +0.9%) $85B bid for Time Warner (TWX +0.8%), despite what Trump has said on the campaign trail.
    • Jeff Eisenach has supported major media mergers proposed in recent years, while Mark Jamison argued in favor of the AT&T and T-Mobile tie-up, although in the end the FCC declined to approve the deal.
    • Of Trump's three new advisers for the transition of DOJ - J. Patrick Rowan, Jessie Liu and Ronald Tenpas - none specialize in M&A, but all three have extensive experience in helping large companies navigate the U.S. regulatory landscape. Rowan has also helped counsel at least one sale of a U.S. telecom company to a foreign buyer.
    | Tue, Nov. 22, 10:12 AM | 47 Comments