Light Reading

AT&T Eyeing a Bid for DirecTV?

Dan Jones
5/1/2014
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AT&T is exploring the prospects of buying the satellite TV provider DirecTV in a deal that could be worth $40 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ cites a source familiar with the situation who says that DirecTV is "open" to the possibility of deal, though it is unclear whether talks are under way.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) would be stepping right on Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s toes if it managed to snap up DirecTV. Successive Dish CEOs have said that a Dish-DirecTV merger is possible. (See Dish CEO: DirecTV Merger Possible.)

Any deal proposed would, of course, be subject to big-time regulatory scrutiny.

DirecTV's stock was buoyed by the M&A chatter, rising $4.14 (or 5.36%) to $81.75 as of Thursday afternoon. AT&T dropped 25 cents to $35.45.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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MikeP688
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MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/4/2014 | 9:57:28 AM
Re: Competitive concerns
Many thanks for your thoughts.  As I reflected upon this, I found this to be o curious read to get a sense of what is perceived with the Cable TV industry itself: 

http://www.techpolicyinstitute.org/blog/2014/04/by-scott-wallsten-and-corwin-rhyan/.

But, beyond this latest "status" on the industry itself, there is the power that will be exerted by the distributors...as exemplified by what happened w/the Weather Channel:

http://mashable.com/2014/04/08/weather-channel-directv-deal/?utm_cid=mash-prod-email-topstories&utm_emailalert=daily&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily  
kq4ym
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kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/4/2014 | 9:00:39 AM
Re: Competitive concerns
I not long ago elected to dump DirecTv after making the decision that I just wasn't getting my money's worth for the amount of cable tv I digested. Plus, the ever increasing subscription fees didn't convince me to hang on to what had been a decades long relationship.

AT&T would surely be after the huge subscription list to add to it's customer base as well as the opportunities to enter a new business profit area. But, lots of scrutiny would surely come along with that move.
MikeP688
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MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/3/2014 | 7:57:47 AM
Re: What say you?
It is truly an intriguing prospect--yet we have players, though, getting into the content side of it too--as exemplified already by Comcast controlling NBC.   We the ordinary folks seem not to matter--which is exactly to your point the kind of 2nd hand programmning we've been subjected to.    We do live in very very interesting times. :-)
MikeP688
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MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/3/2014 | 7:53:06 AM
Re: What say you?
It will "intriguing" if Dish is able to eat up DirectTV--but I doubt it at this stage right now.  With all the changes right now, who knows.  Anything is possible.   The only fear I have, though, is that the we the average consumer will be left in the dust of it all.

 

 
sam masud
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sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/2/2014 | 4:47:30 PM
Re: What say you?
Mike,

What would prevent those same subs to just say no to AT&T and jump to Dish instead?
jabailo
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jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/2/2014 | 1:43:10 PM
Re: Competitive concerns
I can get DirecTV as part of a package deal with fiber from my local phone company, CenturyLink...so it's already positioning itself for delivery over high capacity broadband (and 5G).

 
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/2/2014 | 10:05:57 AM
Re: What say you?
MikeP -- To your point (sort of), what's intriguing here is the idea that consolidation among video service providers could pressure content conglomerates to lower their fees for distribution rights. I doubt this would benefit customers in a meaningful way, but it would at least put the brakes on the likes of ESPN/Disney, which is now very comfortable soaking video service providers while delivering increasingly second-rate programming.
MikeP688
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MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/2/2014 | 9:47:09 AM
Re: What say you?
For sure, there is never a dull moment in our ever changing World.   I chatted w/one of my students who actually works for DirectTV and he was as intrigued as the rest of us.    There is a sense of Scale for sure.  But, DirectTV and AT&T have had a solid partnership for quite some time--can it be that they will get them out and transition them all to UVERSE? 
KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/2/2014 | 8:50:42 AM
Re: What say you?
I just don't think regulators would be keen on eliminating one of the major video competitors, but it's not clear where Wheeler would stand. After all, he's stated he would have approved AT&T's takeover of T-Mobile.

Companies must be getting a good read on a likely approval for Comcast Time Warner Cable, as they seem happy to try and push for deals you wouldn't think would normally get approved (Sprint T-Mobile). "Hell, you approved that deal, why not ours?"
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