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John Malone’s Liberty Interactive Buying Alaska’s GCI for $1.12 Billion

Phillip Dampier April 4, 2017 Consumer News, GCI (Alaska) 1 Comment

Cable magnate John Malone’s Liberty Interactive today announced it would acquire Alaska’s largest cable operator General Communication, Inc. (GCI) for $1.12 billion in an all-stock transaction.

Malone is the biggest individual shareholder of Charter Communications, Inc., and has decades of experience running cable companies in the lower 48 states and abroad. He also has experience structuring deals to avoid the U.S. tax authorities, and this deal is no different. Malone will pay zero taxes on the transaction by creatively spinning off the cable operator, first rechristening it as QVC Corp (named after his home shopping channel), then combining QVC Corp with Liberty Ventures and splitting off the combined company to existing Liberty Ventures shareholders. When the transaction is complete, Malone will again rename the cable company GCI Liberty and keep all the proceeds for himself and his shareholders.

GCI’s 108,000 customers won’t see any changes at the cable company and wireless venture this year. The deal is not scheduled to close until 2018.

GCI’s oldest customers may recall John Malone used to own the Alaskan cable operator, but under a different name. Until 1986, it was part of Malone’s Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) empire.

Expensive and usage-capped.

Malone’s operating philosophy these days is best represented by Charter Communications. GCI customers can eventually expect to see a dramatically simplified menu of choices for broadband, television, and telephone service. Broadband from GCI is expensive and usage-capped. Its $60 entry-level plan offers 50/3Mbps service that is “speed reduced” after 50GB of usage a month. For that reason, many customers prefer GCI’s “Faster” plan of 100/5Mbps service for $84.99 a month, with speeds curtailed after 250GB of usage. A gigabit tier is available in certain locations offering 1,000/50Mbps for $174.99 a month, speed-throttled after 1TB of usage.

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Kevin says:

    Speeds reduced after using your connection at its rated speed for ~2 hours 15 minutes per month. Only $174.99!







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  • Dylan: I’m sure Charter is gearing up for this. Hopefully during the investor call on October 26th we will hear more about FDX. I know they completed Docsis ...
  • Ian Littman: Question is, which will happen first: symmetric gigabit from Spectrum or Grande over coax, or GFiber making it west of I-35 and north of downtown with...
  • Ian Littman: Just got Spectrum installed last week (took 'em five months). My initial bill lists the MRC for gigabit at $104.99 after promos. Gritting my teeth as ...
  • Fred Hall: Spectrum should just pay up and be happy....$1 or $2 million is chump change to them....
  • Doug: New York Hudson Valley: Broadcast TV surcharge from $8.85 to $9.95. (So it's really $33.84 for Starter-TV). Digital Adapter from $4.99 to $5.99. I ...
  • ALISON LIBBETT: They ended up taking mail from health insurance company along with drivers license....
  • A.B.: Hi, anybody know if they've actually stopped accepting customers for this? The headline says they've "sunset[ted]" the tier, but the article makes it ...
  • ALISON LIBBETT: Do they take any other form of mail besides utility bill or credit card bills? Just wondering because I got the same thing....
  • sfsfsdfsdf: So instead of lowering prices like they should to more reasonable lvls they instead decide to hike up rates?...
  • Todd: If the fine print is that bad, it's just as bad as Spectrum's $14.99 Internet Assist. They offer it, but no one can actually qualify to get it. It s...
  • Mike W.: They are not doing the right thing by any means. This is simply a PR stunt to make them look good to everyone who doesn't realize this is a BS progra...
  • Dylan: I better be getting 200mbps instead of 100 soon then if I do get a increase from $55 to $60 for bundle internet services. I understand the investments...

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