Dallas-based AT&T to buy DirecTV for $49 billion - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dallas-based AT&T to buy DirecTV for $49 billion

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DALLAS - Dallas-based AT&T announced a deal to buy satellite television provider DirecTV for $49 billion dollars. 

The deal is not final.  But some changes customers can expect include expanded broadband to more than 15 million people in mostly rural areas where AT&T is not already available.  A stand alone internet deal will also be offered to customers who do not want television or phone services.  And, regular DirecTV only package deals will continue to be available at the same prices nationwide. 

Doctor Mike Davis, a business analyst at Southern Methodist University, says the merging of AT&T with DirecTV makes for a powerful combination.  “There's big money at stake here and there's big changes in the way, basically in the way we get entertained."   “Basically what AT&T has is a platform'" said Dr. Davis.  "It has the wireless and the broadband and all that, and what Direct has is programing, especially the sports programming." 

Davis says AT&T is not really DirecTV’s competition.  "AT&T is in competition with cable television companies.  AT&T competes against Comcast and Time Warner, so by merging with DirecTV, the hope at least is, that AT&T will be a more effective competitor in their battle against Comcast and Time Warner." 

AT&T says the merge will enable the company to offer new bundle packages with more content.  "Consumers may benefit because they will now be able to have access more easily to programming they wouldn't have gotten otherwise, the NFL package you get on DirecTV is the best example of that," said Dr. Davis. 

AT&T also vows to bring more high speed internet to some 15 million consumers in rural areas.  But Dr. Davis says there are still a lot of unknowns.  "For shareholders, it's kind of a gamble now because nobody knows how this brave new world of entertainment is going to shake out, there's going to be big winners and big losers and obviously AT&T is positioning itself as a winner." 

For the purchase, AT&T has agreed to give DirecTV stockholders $95 per share in cash and AT&T stock. 

If the deal is approved by government regulators, DirecTV will operate as a subsidiary of AT&T and will maintain its headquarters in California. 

FOX 4 wanted to ask AT&T what this might mean for jobs in North Texas.  The company says it will not comment further on the deal.


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