Earlier this month, reports indicated that AT&T was considering acquiring DirecTV in a deal that would be worth at least $40 billion. The merger would create a entity that would serve roughly 26 million subscribers.
At the time, there was no indication on how far along the talks were, but sources said that DirectTV was open to deal. Now, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that we could see some sort of agreement in as little as two weeks, and it could be worth up to $50 billion.
From the WSJ:
AT&T Inc. is moving quickly to seal a takeover deal with DirecTV, with an agreement between the two communications giants as little as two weeks away, people familiar with the matter said.
The two sides are discussing a deal that AT&T T -1.30% would pay for using a mix of cash and its stock, the people said. AT&T would likely pay a premium to DirecTV’s DTV +0.73% share price Monday, one of the people said.
Bloomberg suggests that such a deal would keep the management of DirecTV running the company as a unit of AT&T. They also say that DirecTV CEO Mike White plans to retire after next year.
For both companies, the benefits of such a merger are obvious. AT&T would get the biggest satellite TV provider in the country, while DirectTV would gain access to high-speed internet to bundle. This would make the entity much more competitive in the market–a market that may just see another huge merger approved in the near future.
As you know, Comcast is attempting the purchase Time Warner Cable for around $45 billion. That deal is being probed not only by the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, but by various U.S. states as well. Whether or not that deal goes through will likely have an impact on any possible AT&T/DirecTV plans. AT&T's last big acquisition attempt didn't go so well.
Neither AT&T or DirecTV is commenting.
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