Verizon CEO Says Telecom Giant No Longer Eyeing Big Cable Acquisitions

Courtesy of Getty Images
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam

Lowell McAdam said he now has big content deals for Oath, his combined AOL-Yahoo entity, in sight.

Telecom giant Verizon is no longer exploring acquisitions of a big cable giant to help grow demand for its wireless data and content products.

But Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told an investors conference on Thursday he has major content deals for his Oath subsidiary in the works. "We've moved on from those [cable] discussions," the exec told the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference after Verizon earlier this year explored a possible combination with cable giant Charter Communications, in which John Malone's Liberty Media owns a big stake.

Verizon was also reportedly in deal talks with Comcast, Walt Disney and CBS Corp. But McAdam said Verizon is now looking beyond cable companies to purchase optical fiber and related hardware to build out its wireless network.

"You certainly get customers. They're great companies. They're all trying to be critical and have a great financial model," he said of cable giants. But for the bandwidth Verizon needs for its wireless customers, the Verizon boss said he'd rather lay down more fiber-optic cable than pursue a cable giant with legacy coaxial cable that has to be ripped out of the ground.

Verizon is, however, eyeing content acquisitions to feed its Oath subsidiary, created after the telecom giant acquired Yahoo and put it together with AOL. "I wouldn't be surprised if sometime before the end of September you hear about one of them," McAdam told investors about coming content deals, without giving details.

Verizon, after previously acquiring AOL and Millennial Media and last year launching millennials-focused mobile video service Go90, has put millennials at the center of the company. It also previously acquired a stake in AwesomenessTV and partnered with Hearst to jointly acquire male-focused media company Complex.