Anonymous sources tell the Wall Street Journal
that an AT&T acquisition of DirecTV could be announced in as little as two weeks. The insiders claim the deal will be worth around $48 billion, and AT&T will pay for the transaction primarily with stock. The Journal is clear to point out talks of a deal have failed several times (rumors of an AT&T acquisition of DirecTV have loomed for much of the last decade) and could fail again here:
There is no guarantee AT&T and DirecTV will strike a deal in the time frame envisioned. The companies have come close to striking a combination before, only to see it fall apart over issues including price, one of the people said.
The move has a touch of hubris for AT&T, who had their attempted acquisition of T-Mobile blocked by regulators. The telco would once again be attempting to directly reduce the number of competitors in a specific sector, and there's certainly no evidence regulators would see this deal much differently.
The Journal speculates that AT&T's interests would be in "freeing up valuable bandwidth on its Internet connections to customer homes," which would seemingly suggest feeding U-Verse users TV over satellite, then boosting broadband speeds. But does that really make sense given the existing investment in IP delivery? Meanwhile, AT&T is backing away from numerous more rural DSL markets
that might best benefit from a DSL/satellite pairing.
Do you think an AT&T acquisition of DirecTV makes sense?