The telecommunications and cable industry may be getting even more entwined than they already are. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Verizon is exploring the possibility of acquiring Charter.
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam reportedly has approached officials at Charter to open discussions on a possible acquisition. The telecom giant has also started to work with advisers to study the potential purchase.
The report indicates there is no deal on the table yet, which Reuters has confirmed.
Were such a deal to be seen through, it would mark a massive merger of two of the biggest players in the companies’ respective fields. Verizon is the largest mobile carrier in the United States, with more than 114 million subscribers, while Charter’s base of 17 million cable and 21 million broadband customers makes it the second largest cable company in the country.
The rumored purchase would come right on the heels of a merger between Charter and Time Warner Cable, a $65 billion acquisition that was completed last year after being announced in 2015.
The deal was approved by federal regulators after they put a halt to an attempted purchase of Time Warner Cable by Comcast, which would have extended the company’s position as the largest cable provider in the U.S.
An attempted purchase of Charter by Verizon may have faced heavy scrutiny from regulators at the Federal Communications Commission had it been proposed just weeks ago, but the Donald Trump administration is believed to be more likely to not intervene in such deals.
Trump did take aim at a proposed $85.4 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner—the programming entity that owns CNN and HBO—and said he wouldn’t approve such a deal because it put “too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.”
However, a reported meeting between AT&T executives and members of Trump’s transition team left the telecom giant feeling certain that its deal would be approved.
The Trump administration is likely to see several similar deals between massive companies come together—including attempted purchases of T-Mobile by both Sprint and AT&T, both of which were abandoned due to scrutiny from regulators. Sprint has expressed hope a deal could still get done under a new administration, while other potential buyers of T-Mobile —including cable giant Comcast and satellite television provider Dish—have also emerged.