This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Exchange, Telecom Deals Prove Antitrust is So 2012

Stocks in this article: ICENYXNDAQSCLWRPCST

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Whether it is a consolidating telecom sector or a blockbuster Thursday merger proposal between financial powerhouses IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) and NYSE Euronext (NYX), the sectors that failed to consolidate last year are betting 2013 is the year antitrust officials back off.

Currently, three multi-billion dollar telecom sector deals face U.S. antitrust approvals by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, and Thursday's $8.2 billion ICE and NYSE merger would face as many as five regulatory approvals around the world. At this time last year, many in the business press might have said the present slate of pending mergers is a reflection of corporations thumbing their nose at feckless antitrust officials.

A lack of hysterics in the proposed exchange's consolidation and a string of telecom deals, which includes T-Mobile USA's merger with MetroPCS (PCS), Sprint's (S) merger with Softbank of Japan, and the company's more recent planned acquisition of Clearwire (CLWR) signal that the facts have changed dramatically in both industries.

At this time last year, investors in both sectors were recovering from AT&T's (T) failed $39 billion effort for T-Mobile and they were licking their chops for officials in Europe and the U.S. to nix a similar cross-Atlantic merger between NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse of Germany.

Few see antitrust officials playing a heavy hand in a hat trick of telecom mergers and analysts at Berenberg Bank and Stifel Nicolaus said on Thursday a lack of overlap in ICE and NYSE Euronext's disparate trading and clearing businesses make a deal blockage more remote than last year, when antitrust officials also balked at a joint bid between ICE and Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ) for the iconic NYSE.

So what is the difference?

It boils down to a year of deteriorating fundamentals for also-ran U.S. telecom operators and NYSE's unrelenting stock market share losses to off-exchange operators like BATS Global Markets and DirectEdge.

Meanwhile ICE's play for NYSE Euronext and a sketched-out reconfiguration of the telecom sector may also represent more careful planning.

AT&T's M&A effort was widely panned as being a push to turn the U.S. wireless sector into a duopoly, while E.U. officials said the NYSE - Deutsche Boerse tie up raised the prospect of making European stock and derivatives anti-competitive.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,828.24 +0.49 0.00%
S&P 500 2,067.56 -5.27 -0.25%
NASDAQ 4,791.63 +4.3130 0.09%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs