AT&T reportedly eyeing $50B DirecTV acquisition

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AT&T’s quest for growth reportedly has the telecommunications giant eyeing a potential acquisition of DirecTV in a deal that could reach $50 billion.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, AT&T could be looking to make an offer on the satellite television provider in the coming weeks. The move would bolster AT&T’s push into home entertainment, which is currently based on its U-verse fiber service, and could counter cable giant Comcast’s recently announced deal to acquire fellow cable provider Time Warner Cable.

Analysts noted that the two players have had ongoing negotiations for years, but could never find the right monetary or regulatory fit.

“This is not the first time that AT&T and DirecTV have danced around the fire and thought if they could give it a go,” ReconAnalytics analyst Roger Entner told Reuters. “They both looked at each other for at least 10 years. Both kind of came to the conclusion that it was in the right environment. It makes a lot of sense to get together, but there was never the right regulatory environment for it.”

Reports earlier this month touted similar talks between the two parties.

Entner noted that unlike rival Dish Network, DirecTV has not diversified its portfolio with valuable wireless spectrum assets that would allow the company to play in the wireless telecommunications space. Dish Network has aggressively targeted wireless spectrum, having recently bolstered its holdings by winning all the licenses available in the Federal Communications Commission’s H-Block spectrum auction to go along with its holdings in the 2 GHz and 700 MHz bands.

DirecTV has made some spectrum inroads across portions of South America, having recently acquired 2.5 GHz spectrum in Colombia.

AT&T for its part has looked to expand operations, reportedly having recently backed away from a potential foray into the international telecommunications market by making an offer for Vodafone, and several years ago having been re-buffed in its efforts to acquire smaller wireless rival T-Mobile USA for $39 billion.

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Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
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Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”

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