Malone Is Fired Up by Cable and Ready to Buy

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone is fired up about cable again, believing its high speeds will give it an edge over satellite as consumers devour more entertainment digitally.

The compulsive deal maker says he is looking for new investments, especially overseas, in cable, which he helped build over more than two decades as chief executive of Tele-Communications Inc. before it was sold to AT&T (T) in 1999.

At the same time, the proud libertarian, who has feuded with regulators throughout his career, says he’s concerned the Federal Communications Commission could turn cable into a “dumb pipe” by limiting cable companies’ ability to bundle services like Internet and television. (An FCC spokeswoman says that “unbundling of services is off the table,” and any FCC changes would “encourage rather than inhibit investment.”)

More broadly, Mr. Malone engineered his way through the recession, merging Liberty’s stake in DirecTV (DTV) back into the satellite company, among other moves.

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