AT&T set to announce DirecTV buyout?

"The deal is done" and will be announced Sunday, says a report. The purported buy is thought to carry a $50B price tag.

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AT&T will announce Sunday that it's acquiring satellite TV provider DirecTV, according to a report in Buzzfeed, which cites an unnamed source.

"The deal is done," the report quotes the source as saying. It adds that DirecTV CEO Mike White has passed the news to senior executives and will go public with it sometime tomorrow.

The purchase would allow AT&T to expand its television footprint in the US, an attractive move for the telecommunications company. Like its competitors, AT&T continues to compete with cable companies for customers who want bundled services for TV, broadband, wireless, and home phone. DirecTV is the No. 2 satellite TV provider, with 20 million subscribers. AT&T U-Verse TV, the company's digital TV service, has 5.7 million customers.

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the two companies were close to an agreement and that the price tag was about $50 billion, both cash and stock.

AT&T reportedly approached DirecTV after Comcast announced its deal with Time Warner Cable in February. That merger, if approved, would result in a combined base of 30 million subscribers.

AT&T had no comment on today's report. We've contacted DirecTV for comment and will update this post with any new information.

Update, 4:15 p.m. PT: Citing "people briefed on the matter," The New York Times' DealBook blog reported late Saturday that a buyout announcement could come "within days." It also said its sources cautioned that an agreement hadn't been finalized and that "talks may still fall apart."

 

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