AT&T Eyes $50B Play for DirecTV

Deal may complicate Comcast merger
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2014 9:04 AM CDT
This Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, file photo shows an AT&T logo on an AT&T Wireless retail store front, in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Newser) – AT&T is in active talks to buy DirecTV for around $50 billion, multiple outlets are reporting, with the deal potentially coming in a matter of weeks. The move could have implications for Comcast's purchase of Time Warner, because anti-regulators may want to look at both deals together, the New York Times reports, adding that the AT&T talks actually began in earnest right after the Time Warner deal was announced. "With DirecTV they are getting a national TV presence—they can sell TV with wireless nationwide," one analyst tells Bloomberg.

The exact price is still up in the air; Reuters sources say it's in the "low- to mid-$90 per share" range, while Bloomberg says it could be as high as $100 per share. Also still in the air is the fate of DirecTV CEO Mike White, who isn't expected to step down—but does reportedly plan to retire after 2015. Some industry sources speculate that the entire deal is a feint intended to land the real apple of AT&T's eye, Dish Network. Last week Dish said it could see the logic in merging with its competitor, but said it couldn't outbid AT&T for DirecTV.

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