AT&T is reportedly interested in acquiring satellite TV provider DirectTV. DirectTV is currently the second biggest U.S. pay TV provider, with roughly 20 million customers while AT&T's TV business reaches roughly 5.7 million. Combined, AT&T and DirectTV would be better positioned to compete against Comcast, especially when and if their Time Warner Cable buyout goes through. That's according to the Wall Street Journal:

Acquisition of DirecTV would give AT&T a national footprint in pay television at a time when the telecom company sees video delivery as core to its future. An acquisition would allow AT&T to offer bundles of wireless and TV services, and could give AT&T new ways to deliver video to its mobile and broadband customers.

If a deal is ever made — and it remains a big if — it's hard to tell whether or not it would help customers by providing better service and cheaper overall, bundled prices. Given the precarious state of net neutrality these days, and the U.S. government's willingness to entertain mergers like Comcast/Time Warner — not to mention Comcast/NBC Universal! — bigger might also end up meaning the opposite of better.

A future where internet companies are and own TV distribution, never mind networks and production companies, is the opposite of the dumb-pipe destinies many consumers long for.

AT&T buying DirectTV is just a rumor for now and a lot can happen between talks and deals being made and approved. In the meantime, let me know — how would you feel about AT&T owning DirectTV?

Source: Wall Street Journal


Reader comments

AT&T reportedly interested in acquiring DirectTV to better compete against Comcast


YES! Buy Directv and bring NFL Sunday Ticket to my U-Verse! Pleeeaaassseee!!!!!

btw, Directv only has one "t"

It's not good.. It's great! All we need is 3 choices. I'm stuck with Comcast because Direct TV doesn't offer internet. Fios isn't in my area.. So AT&T shrinking the market would help many people stuck in my position.

More competition = many half assed services. 3 larger competitors = 3 excellent choices

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

Look at the airlines.. They're finally profitable with less competition. You're all brain washed on here to believe more competition the better. It's only true if they can all truly compete.. Which most times they can't.

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

Airlines might be profitable but it has nothing to do with less competition.
It has to do with treating their customers like sardines in a can, charging them extra for everything, and cutting flights to make sure they never have even one empty seat. There is a conspiracy (or at least a tacit agreement) among airlines to make sure none of them provide better service than the other so that they can keep prices high.

I am surprised that airlines have not begun charging people admission to use the bathrooms in-flight :-).

Also, DirecTV does offer internet, it is just via satellite, is expensive and is really not ideal for most users. But it is better than being stuck with dial-up.

Without heavy regulations that's the end game for capitalism in this country. This why Corporations need to be separated from our government and an end to Lobbying. The US government does nothing but bend at will to US corporations. It's like the Sherman Anti-Trust act doesn't exist anymore in the eyes of the Government.

I'm not a fan either. I am, however, a living breathing human being.

*Ba dun tiss*

I'll show myself

I feel the same.....I'm never giving another $1 to at&t......roku and hulu here I come if this happens. Love directv....This would not be good. Nuetrality will be a thing of the past soon, and my finger is pointing at at&t as the main player in this, although they aren't the only ones.

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I have DirecTV to get away from AT&T. I dare them to do it just to get the satisfaction of robbing them of a customer.

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Too many mergers protect the consumers. Few companies Will control everything

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As a DirecTV customer, such a merger wouldn't add anything of value for us. We can't get U-Verse as AT&T has yet to upgrade the area infrastructure to support it (also why we're still stuck on crappy DSL). Also no interest in their wireless service as Verizon has better coverage (and still have grandfathered unlimited data).

Even with u-verse you are stuck with dsl. It's fiber to a neighborhood box, dsl from there. Granted shorter distance means faster dsl speeds. But it's still copper to the home and not fiber.

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This does not make any since how can a merger with Direct TV and AT&T and even come close to competing with Comcast? The only one i can see competing with Comcast is Verizon and they have stopped there build out for Fios so im confused with the title of this post?

TV and lte internet in the home. All wireless rather than Comcast / Verizon wired service.

It's a great alternative imo.. I'd get it so I could drop Comcast

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

No no no. Please no. DirecTV owns spectrum that Google was possibly going to go in with them to use. ATT would get it and use it to screw everyone with more higher prices. They NEVER offer good deals. We'd be better off with Google one day offering wireless service.

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I'm saving tons of money with AT&T, dropped Sprint. Better service, more coverage, lower price.

No idea what you're talking about

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

As a DirecTv customer, I would hate to see this deal. DirecTv has excellent customer service and continuously provide discounts. Those are 2 things I never received from AT&T. Add in my unlimited Verizon data and I see no benefit. Just my 2 cents.

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Actually Dish Network's CEO approached DTV's CEO Mike White, but it was for DirecTv to acquire Dish, not the other way around. Dish Network has little to zero to offer DirecTv, while DirecTv is sitting on a goldmine with their sports programming and attractiveness to bars/restaurants. Plus AT&T already partners with DirecTv which only sweetens the idea that AT&T may try to but DTV.

I sincerely hope this does not happen. I left AT&T due to their poor coverage, abysmal customer support, and holier than thou attitude. I have enjoyed my DirecTV service for 10 years now and would be very concerned that AT&T would ruin this business. I see no upside for consumer in this merger and lots of potential downside.

Works for me...I get my TV currently from DirecTV (mainly for the NFL package and because Comcast is awful) and my cell service from ATT...hopefully, I can bundle the two for a better deal.

If ATT buys directv, i am out!!! Been a DTV customer for years, but ATT sucks! they are evil and i wont give them my money

I have Verizon DSL hopeing for Fios next year. I have Direct TV for Television service. I have AT&T for mobile phone service.
I want to have all three of these as separate companies--nothing combined --keep them separate.
Oh and I want nothing to do with Comcast..even though i live in the city of their headquarters - nothing to do with them.

Keep everything separate and please don't trot out the "mergers benefit the consumer with better service" All anyone need do is look at the history of mergers over the past 10 years. History flies into the face of this "consumer benefit" notion.

I really hope this doesn't happen. One, I don't like At&t. Two, mergers usually result in three things, higher prices, less competition and horrible customer service.