March 4, 2024


One of the company’s jets is testing a new satellite communications antenna for onboard Wi-Fi service.

Intelsat

US satellite communications giant Intelsat dropped merger discussions with Luxembourg-based rival SES on Wednesday, CNBC confirmed.

Intelsat ended discussions with SES after disagreements over business priorities, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC. Whether the merger would result in more value creation than if Intelsat continued to operate independently was unclear, the person said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss non-public matters.

As previously reported, the merger would create a combined U.S. and European business worth more than $10 billion.

Both companies are under increasing pressure as the satellite communications market shifts from video broadcasting to data services, leading to a spate of consolidation in the industry. Elon Musk’s SpaceX disrupted the market most notably, with its Starlink business growing to more than 1.5 million customers in less than three years since launching the service.

An Intelsat spokesman declined CNBC’s request for comment, saying the company “has regular strategic dialogues with potential partners” but does not discuss “the content or outcome of those discussions.”

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SES did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Bloomberg First report the end of the talks.

Merger talks collapsed shortly after SES announced that CEO Steve Collar would step down at the end of the month. The move is unexpected in the aerospace industry, as Collar’s career at SES spanned more than 20 years.