Telefónica is interested in buying AT&T's Latin American cable and satellite TV operations, a deal that could cost it as much as $10 billion, according to a Reuters report.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) gained the extensive LatAm TV business -- ten country markets plus services in a few Caribbean islands -- as part of its $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV in July 2015 but is willing to sell under the right conditions. (See What's Next for the New AT&T? and AT&T Closes Acquisition of DirecTV.)
According to the Reuters report, other suitors are also interested in the operations, including cable giant Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY).
Telefónica already offers TV and video-on-demand services in six major LatAm markets that are also covered by AT&T's DirecTV services, namely Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.
The Spanish giant stated in December that it is committed to full service operations in Latin America and has the ambition to be the leading "pay-TV company in the world in Spanish and Portuguese," an ambition that would be aided by the acquisition of AT&T's business, which boasts about 19 million users. As part of that commitment, Telefónica announced its intention to launch video services in seven new LatAm markets during 2016 -- Ecuador, Uruguay, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading