AT&T buys DirecTV for $48.5B to boost customer base

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – AT&T has acquired DirecTV in a deal worth around $48.5bn in a move that is expected to amass customers for the U.S. telecom giant amid a wave of consolidation in the TV industry.

AT&T agreed to pay shareholders $95 for every DirecTV stock held. The deal’s total value, including DirecTV’s debt, is around $67.1bn.

Both companies’ boards approved the merger on Sunday, evidence that the telecommunications companies’ seek to increase their customer base and control content and delivery. In an effort to increase revenue per customer, cable and satellite service providers are trying to expand their product options amid the increasing popularity of streaming and wireless technology upending.

AT&T’s pay-TV service U-Verse currently has a limited market reach, so the acquisition increases the company’s footprint across the U.S. and creates a huge pay-TV entity that can offer video using satellites and fiber-optics lines. The move would also provide greater flexibility for AT&T in bundling services by leveraging its satellite-delivered TV-Internet service and wireless networks.

If the transaction gets approval from regulators, DirecTV will become a subsidiary of AT&T and continue to operate in its El Segundo, Calif. headquarters.

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