AT&T Reportedly in Talks to Buy DirecTV

Rumors of a deal with AT&T have sent DirecTV shares up this month. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
Rumors of a deal with AT&T have sent DirecTV shares up this month. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

AT&T is in talks to buy DirecTV for at least $50 billion, and the two sides are actively working toward an announcement, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

If completed, a deal would give AT&T, the country’s second-largest wireless carrier, control of the country’s largest satellite television provider, further reshaping the rapidly changing telecommunications and television industries. AT&T has grown interested in DirecTV in recent months, according to several people with knowledge of the company’s thinking, leading to an approach in the last few weeks. Rumors of a deal between the two companies have sent DirecTV shares up about 12 percent this month.

On Monday, after The Wall Street Journal reported that talks had accelerated, details on the timing and the price of a deal began coming into focus. The terms of any agreement are not expected to be released in the next two weeks, and the two sides are working on a pricing structure under which AT&T would pay $92 to $94 a share. In addition, Mike White, DirecTV’s chief executive, is not expected to step down if the deal goes through.

DirecTV closed at $87.16 on Monday, but was up sharply in after-hours trading.

For AT&T, a deal for DirecTV would signal its continued ambitions to grow in the United States, after its attempted takeover of the rival wireless carrier T-Mobile failed in 2011 because of resistance from regulators.

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SOURCE: DAVID GELLES 
The New York Times

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