DirecTV in €35bn ‘mega-merger’ with AT&T
In one of the year’s biggest global takeover deals so far, US telecoms firm AT&T is to acquire pay-television company DirecTV for a reported €35bn.
The deal, which is being described as a merger by both parties, would see the entity able to offer premium television content alongside phone contracts and broadband.
DirecTV is a rival to US cable giant Comcast and premium television broadcaster HBO.
The move, which would require the approval of US competition authorities, comes three months after Comcast announced its €32bn acquisition of cable rival Time Warner.
Analysts say that such “mega-mergers” are being spurred by changing habits among consumers who are increasingly watching video content through broadband-connected devices such as tablets and laptops.
“Over the last year, things began to change with technologies,” DirecTV’s Mike White said.
“AT&T started to be able to offer better broadband. With it comes a continuing evolution for mobile video. It’s about watching TV on all devices.”
AT&T delivers broadband to 70 million American homes.
AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson said: “It gives us the parts to fulfil a vision we have had for a couple of years, that is, the opportunity and the ability to deliver premium content over multiple points for the customer, whether it |be through a smartphone, through a tablet or television or laptop.”