AT&T Buying DIRECTV: Blame Canada

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- For as long as anybody would listen to my incessant spewing, I've been banging the table for the practical and philosophical significance of the telecommunications, media and sports empire Rogers Communications (RCI) and BCE, Inc. (BCE) have built in Canada.

In 2012 at Seeking Alpha and then at TheStreet, I made the case for both names as investments. Within a year of those articles, RCI and BCE popped roughly 34% and 14%, respectively. As the investment thesis lost its luster, I shifted focus to the relevance of what RCI and BCE do north of the toll bridges as it pertains to U.S.-based telecommunications, media and even technology companies.

Most recently, I argued against a strategy of growth via M&A for Apple (AAPL) in part because it could put Apple on a dangerous trajectory. Hating Rogers and Bell because of their omnipresence has become part of Canadian culture. Apple doesn't want, nor does it need to go there.

I defined There like this:

Take Comcast (CMCSA), combine it with DIRECTV (DTV), Verizon (VZ), Madison Square Garden (MSG) and Clear Channel and you'll be close to expressing a U.S. version of the loathed Rogers-Bell combo.

But the proverbial American telecommunications company doesn't have to worry about going there. If you're AT&T (T) or Verizon, you know the score. Nobody likes you. You're a necessary evil -- like cable ... or Microsoft (MSFT). The only thing that makes you more palatable is that your name shows up on the top lefthand portion of my iPhone screen.

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