By JOE BRADYAssociated Press WriterWASHINGTON (AP) Verizon and Comcast Corp. have announced a deal that would merge the nation’s largest two wireless carriers.
Verizon will buy Comcast, the nations largest wireless carrier, for about $54 billion, or $1.18 a share, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, would give Verizon more than 40 percent of the combined company.
Comcast will be spun off as part of the deal.
The merger would be the largest telecom merger in the nation and is expected to be finalized by the end of the year, though it has not been announced whether it will go through.
Comcast shares were down 1.5 percent.
The deal would be a boon for the telecom industry, with Comcast bringing more than 20 million customers to Verizon’s existing service area.
It would also create a $20 billion market for broadband Internet service, making it the country’s largest cable company.
Comcast has been struggling in recent years as its cable business struggles to grow in the wake of declining subscribers and higher costs from customers who have switched from Verizon.
The merged company would be owned by the same parent company as the cable company and Comcast’s cable networks.
Comcast owns NBCUniversal and Disney.
The proposed deal is expected be approved by regulators, the Journal reported, and would allow Verizon to continue to offer its current service and compete in the market.
Verizon currently offers more than 1 billion voice and data calls per month.