AT&T Shifting Focus Away from Opportunities in Europe
AT&T says it sees far less opportunity for growth through acquisitions in Europe.
John Stephens, AT&T's CFO, said Wednesday during a Deutsche Bank investor conference that Europe's LTE deployment has matured, making it a less attractive growth opportunity.
"We're now seeing the LTE story play out in Europe...we see the window there closing," Stephens said, adding that AT&T's "focus is shifting to the United States."
At the request of the UK Takeover Panel, AT&T in late January submitted a filing that confirmed it does not intend to make an offer for Vodafone. The company however reserves the right to place and offer for Vodafone within 6 months after the date of that announcement.
Stephens said AT&T is focused on completing its Project VIP network upgrade, as well as integrating Leap and that company's Cricket prepaid brand.
AT&T also see opportunity in a large base of customers that don't currently have a video content subscription through the company. Stephens said that AT&T counts over 50 million wireless broadband customers, as well as 10 million uVerse customers that don't currently have a video subscription.
"We need to keep it open to an over the top offering," Stephens said, noting that while AT&T does have its uVerse TV offering, it may be open to partnering with a third-party service.
On the topic of recent discussions with Netflix to fashion a deal that would have the OTT video provider compensate AT&T for carrying traffic over its network, Stephens said such deals were necessary to ensure acceptable customer experience.
"It's the same thing we're hoping to accomplish with anyone that wants to put traffic on our network," Stephens said.