Hear that stomach growling? If you've been keeping up with the merger-gone-sideways world of AT&T
The proposed merger with T-Mobile that AT&T finally gave up on in December would have given it the spectrum it needed to better compete with Verizon
And to pile on further, while AT&T's lawyers and lobbyists were pounding the pavement between the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission trying to get the merger approved, Verizon was busy making its own spectrum-grabbing deals. Also in December, just before AT&T threw in the merger towel, Verizon made a deal with three cable companies -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks -- to acquire a large cache of spectrum.
So, not to mince words: AT&T is desperate for more wireless spectrum. And when you add that desperation to the finite amount of spectrum that is out there, AT&T is on the wrong side of a seller's market for spectrum.
That brings us to DISH Network
Other spectrum-grabbing scenarios for AT&T could include plays for Leap Wireless
AT&T does have a tough row to hoe, but I wouldn't bet against it. Ironically, the antitrust issues that doomed its T-Mobile merger may actually play in its favor here. If the FCC and DOJ wouldn't let that merger happen because it would create an overpowering duopoly of AT&T and Verizon, what would it think about a mobile-carrier playing field that had only one viable major carrier: Verizon? Given that, I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon's deal with the cable companies gets a closer look than it has received so far. If that deal gets axed, too, then the horizon looks brighter for AT&T.
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Fool contributor Dan Radovsky owns shares of AT&T. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.