1. Business

AT&T reportedly in talks to buy DirecTV for more than $50 billion

Published May 13, 2014

AT&T is in talks to acquire DirecTV for at least $50 billion, and the two sides are actively working toward an announcement, the New York Times is reporting.

If completed, a deal would give AT&T, the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier, control of the country's largest satellite television provider, the Times said, citing a person briefed on the matter.

The deal would further reshape the rapidly changing telecommunications and television industries. AT&T has reportedly grown interested in DirecTV in recent months, leading to an approach in recent weeks.

Rumors of a deal between the two companies has sent DirecTV shares up this month.

But on Monday, details on the timing and price of a deal began coming into focus. The Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported the talks, said a deal could be announced within two weeks. Bloomberg said AT&T was preparing to offer about $100 a share, a modest premium over DirecTV's current share price.

For AT&T, a deal for DirecTV would signal its continued ambitions to grow in the United States, after its attempted takeover of rival wireless carrier T-Mobile failed in 2011 because of resistance from regulators. AT&T believes it has an opportunity to expand its footprint in the pay-television business. DirecTV has about 20 million subscribers.

Talks between AT&T and DirecTV began in earnest after Comcast announced its deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. That deal, if completed, would create a clear leader in the cable television industry.

Yet people familiar with both deals said that if AT&T and DirecTV announce a deal, it could complicate the review of Comcast's bid for Time Warner Cable, as regulators could want to consider both deals simultaneously.


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