Verizon linked with Disney takeover

Disney StudiosVerizon may become the latest US telco to buy a major American content company, with a report linking it to a deal for The Walt Disney Company.

The NY Post’s On the Money blog quoted sources in the banking and analyst communities suggesting a deal could be on the cards.

The rumour was reported doing the rounds on Wall Street last week ahead of the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Idaho, which usually attracts major business leaders, philanthropists and cultural icons.

Verizon has upped its content assets by taking a stake in youth-skewed digital firm company AwesomenessTV and buying Yahoo, which it has since merged with AOL and rebranded as Oath.

However, it scrapped a plan SVOD service that would offer original video, and is danger of falling behind telecoms rival AT&T, which is buying Time Warner.

It is, however, reported to be preparing a paired-down ‘skinny bundle’ video service similar to Dish Network’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DirecTV Now.

Disney owns a Burbank-based film and TV studio, the Disney-ABC Television Group, Disney Worldwide Channels, Lucasfilm, Pixar Animation Studios and Maker Studios.

Disney shares are currently trading at US$106.25, giving an overall market capitalisation of US$166.27 billion, while Verizon’s share price is currently US$44.66.

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