Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has unequivocally shot down reports that Verizon is interested in buying Disney.
At Allen & Co.’s annual media and technology summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, McAdam simply answered “no” when asked by reporters about the rumor, according to Variety.
McAdam’s response falls in line with what many industry analysts said following last week’s report from the New York Post, suggesting that Verizon should not be overlooked as a potential suitor for Disney.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Cahall said the deal has a low probability of panning out.
"Though not fake news, we think the Post's burden of legitimacy for publishing such ideas is below that of publications like the WSJ, Reuters and Bloomberg. But to its credit, we note that it occasionally gets these M&A calls right," Cahall said in a research note.
Wells Fargo Securities LLC analyst Marci Ryvicker was more blunt, telling Light Reading that Wells Fargo does not believe Verizon is thinking about buying Disney and said the Post may have confused the Fourth of July with April Fools.
While any Verizon-Disney tie-up seems to be on ice, other media deals have been known to pop up during the annual meetings in Sun Valley. But some of the industry figures present for the event seemed to shoot down that possibility this year.
Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner predicted that “probably nothing” in terms of a merger would emerge from Allen & Co. this week.
Meanwhile, invitees like Discovery CEO David Zaslav cheered the fact that viewers seem to be consuming more content than ever, and said that his company’s focus was to make sure its content has a bigger share on all available platforms.