The stock was up 8.2% at $335.84 after marking a record high of its own at $341.50 following news that Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Charter had hired advisors to explore a merger that would radically reshape the telecom and media landscape of America.
The FT reported that the talks were at a very early stage and that there was no guarantee a deal would be agreed. Sources told the newspaper no deal has yet been proposed.
The decision to explore a tentative deal comes as US President Donald Trump’s appointment of Ajit Pai at the Federal Communications Commission has given telecom companies confidence that US regulators will be more open to consolidation in the sector.
However, this week Trump has reiterated his opposition to merger proposals like those of AOL with Time Warner.
The prospect of a merger will also spook investors who had been starting to doubt whether Verizon can achieve a merger with the much-maligned Yahoo Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO).
Verizon shares were down 0.8% at $49.35.