Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam today panned a Bloomberg report that his company was looking to acquire AOL.
Bloomberg had reported that Verizon was interested in a possible acquistion or joint venture with AOL to expands its mobile video offerings.
When asked about the reports, McAdam said that there were a lot of media players that might make great partners for Verizon, but he said an acquistion of a company like AOL was unlikely.
Speaking at Citi’s Internet, Media and Telecommunications Conference, McAdam touched on a number of aspects of Verizon’s business, as well as the changing regulatory environment.
McAdam said that the FCC’s interest in wireless data roaming would ultimately backfire.
“The fact that the FCC wants to get involved in that is a real head scratcher,” McAdam said, noting that regulating roaming pricing would discourage incumbants like Verizon and AT&T from building out their networks into rural areas. “The FCC almost shoots themselves in both feet if they get involved with data roaming.”
McAdam also slammed the FCC for its interest in possibly classifying broadband providers as public utilities.
“It’s just silliness. Other than a political move it just doens’t make any sense,” McAdam said. “It’s a bad idea and it will have a lot of unintended consequences.”
On the overall competitive landscape in the wireless industry, McAdam said Verizon will continue to protect its network superiority and for the most part stay above the pricing wars. He also acknowledged that churn was up slightly as customers try other networks to see if claims from competitors like Sprint and T-Mobile were true.
“The ARPUs of the customers joining are higher than those of the customers leaving,” McAdam said.
While McAdam wouldn’t comment on the ongoing AWS auction, he did say that many of the reports surfacing are inaccurate.
“I think some of the reports coming out right now about the auction were written over a little too much Christmas cheer,” he said.