AT&T confirms it will buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion

Confirming weeks of rumors, AT&T officially announced today it will be acquiring satellite TV provider DirecTV. The deal itself will cost $48.5 billion and AT&T will pay DirecTV shareholders about $95 a share using a combination of cash and AT&T stock.

AT&T's press release states:

The combined company will be a content distribution leader across mobile, video and broadband platforms. This distribution scale will position the company to better meet consumers’ future viewing and programming preferences, whether traditional pay TV, on-demand video services like Netflix or Hulu streamed over a broadband connection (mobile or fixed) or a combination of viewing preferences on any screen.

AT&T claims the deal will allow the company to expand broadband Internet access to 15 million more people who are located mostly in rural areas where high-speed service is currently not available. DirecTV will continue to be offered as a stand alone service for at least three years after the merger is completed.

The company expects to close the deal sometime within the next 12 months, which means that it could be well into 2015 before the acquisition is official. Of course, this buyout can and will be examined by regulators in the U.S. and other countries, and there will certainly be questions asked if this deal violates any anti-trust laws.

AT&T previously tried to purchase wireless carrier T-Mobile a few years ago but later decided to call off the acquisition in 2011 due to pressure from the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Source: AT&T | Image via AT&T

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I had a dream about this couple months ago where I was a able to use my directv dish to get high speed internet access at my moms house which is in the middle of nowhere and I had to deal with Att........yeah I nightmares about not having internet access...

I think it's awesome that they have $48.5 Billion dollars to spend buying DirecTV, but can't spend a few thousand to give my neighborhood u-verse service. There's a box around the corner from here, unfortunately the tech I spoke to said we're about 7500ft from it (1500ft too far), which basically makes us sol. Satellite broadband is a complete joke. It may work, barely, for netflix, but it won't do squat for gaming or any "real" internet use.

AT&T confims it will buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion

Not to nit-pick, it is "confirms" in the title, there seems to be a typo.

I've never had Dish or Direct or AT&T, but from what I've read and seen about AT&T, I TOTALLY despise that company and wouldn't use them even if they did service my area! :x

In fact, 2 of the worst companies in America, IMO, are AT&T and Verizon, which I have had the displeasure of having used before! :x

I wish both those companies could be disbanded and broken up into hundreds of smaller ones.

All these buyouts are not good. Next thing you know, Youtube will combine with Twitch and we'll get more ads.

neufuse said,
Sites are reporting this will "increase" competition... how? we are now shrinking the market again

Exactly. Some people try to espouse a silver lining where none exists...

I have more to add. AT&T sucks hard, they are the kiss of death for a good company, which IMO DirecTV is. Before AT&T bought Bellsouth, they were a good company, at least in terms of home internet service (here in Atlanta). Bellsouth provided good competition, speed and price wise, with Comcast and made them better their service. The minute that AT&T bought Bellsouth, they stopped developing their DSL service and it hasn't increased in speed since. Not a single Megabyte.

AT&T made all these grand promises about something better coming (U-Verse) and it being an effective competitor. I can tell you that I have yet to met a person in this city that has U-Verse. I know they have service somewhere, I just can never find where. I used their service address form and no matter what address I put in, from the well to do areas to the not so well, it always give me the same message of U-Verse not being in your area.

If this deal is approved, AT&T is not going to do anything to improve DirecTV and it will die a slow painful death.

I live north of ATL in Forsyth Co. and have had U-verse since the rollout several years ago. We have been pleased with the service. That said, decreased competition ALWAYS eventually results in lower quality and less innovation.

Wow! $48.5 billion for 15 million customers without high-speed internet in rural areas? There has to be more to the story.

Edit: Guess I missed this quote in the article

"The combined company will be a content distribution leader across mobile, video and broadband platforms. This distribution scale will position the company to better meet consumers' future viewing and programming preferences, whether traditional pay TV, on-demand video services like Netflix or Hulu streamed over a broadband connection (mobile or fixed) or a combination of viewing preferences on any screen".

Quote from above translated - "We now own every aspect of your digital life. Prepare to pay dearly for every mb and min of entertainment"

This is truly a sad day, the worst company buying one of the few world class costumer service companies left, I hope this deal doesn't go through.

Ely said,
This is truly a sad day, the worst company buying one of the few world class costumer service companies left, I hope this deal doesn't go through.

Lol are you serious? Have you ever called Direct about an issue from billing or anything else?? I know many people that have and to only get treated like crap and charged a very large amount to send a tech out. Now lets go deeper, this is prob a good thing to charge a lot to send a tech out so those techs can make a decent wage for doing a service not many can or will do. Dish pays its techs very low wages compared to Direct, its even worse if you work thru a regional service provider that contracts from Dish. If anything I would hope AT&T does buy them and makes all Direct's techs able to join a union to force higher wages and treated more fair, then I hope that blends over to Dish in some form.
I know techs on both companies Dish and Direct and they are all treated like crap for what they do.

You must be talking about another DirecTV right? the one I have been a customer for the last 11 or 12 years has given me nothing but top of the line customer service, cutting edge technology and entertainment, unlike AT&T with which I have had the worst experience ever, I dislike them and their crappy over priced products with a passion, it's not my saying it's DirecTV rated #1 over and over again by its costumers for years who say it, go do some research.

Edited by Ely, May 19 2014, 12:45am :

What? Directv has had a D- bbb rating until this year. now they have a B+ Dish has been rated the best is customer satisfaction way more than DTv

sava700 said,

Lol are you serious? Have you ever called Direct about an issue from billing or anything else?? I know many people that have and to only get treated like crap and charged a very large amount to send a tech out. Now lets go deeper, this is prob a good thing to charge a lot to send a tech out so those techs can make a decent wage for doing a service not many can or will do. Dish pays its techs very low wages compared to Direct, its even worse if you work thru a regional service provider that contracts from Dish. If anything I would hope AT&T does buy them and makes all Direct's techs able to join a union to force higher wages and treated more fair, then I hope that blends over to Dish in some form.
I know techs on both companies Dish and Direct and they are all treated like crap for what they do.

What's really a sad commentary is that such a huge company, supposedly high-tech, can't and refuses to make a bill payment stub that fits into their return envelope. If a company can't or won't handle the simple problems, how can one feel confident they will handle other problems any better? Even Mr. Stephenson can't or won't acknowledge the problem.

I think its finally time I cut the cable, AT&T has the worst customer service I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with and Comcast, my other option, isn't much better.

Fairpoint communications, their FAST service. Would be Verizon FIOS everywhere else but VZ left northern New England a few years back.

Oh wow, you're lucky you have a smaller provider that might actually have some customer service. Here we have AT&T or Comcast, pick your poison.

Yep, I had bellsouth's DSL, and when ATT bought Bellsouth (again) It went straight to ####. There are overturned pedestals all down the roadway with bundles of cables showing, every time it rains all service dies. Phone and DSL. You call and they say everything is fine.

Mr.XXIV said,
I've never imagined AT&T going anywhere near satellite. I remember having BellSouth before things REALLY changed.

Prior to U-Verse, AT&T had a contract with Dish Network and was selling Dish service as a bundle with phone and DSL. Not that shocking really. It sounds like they plan to turn DirecTV into a broadband/TV provider for rural areas. They will most likely stop advertising it's TV service in metro areas altogether.