DTV is up 2% in early morning trading.
As the largest U.S. satellite-TV provider, DirecTV would add to AT&T’s arsenal of wireless, phone and high-speed Internet services.
The move, while offensive, is also being used to stave off competition as more U.S. TV, Internet and wireless providers consolidate.
The purchase would give AT&T a national satellite-TV provider to combine with its wireless, phone and high-speed broadband Internet services as competition ramps up. The pool of pay-TV customers is peaking in the U.S. because viewers are increasingly watching video online, and the combination would keep DirecTV from being on its own with just a TV offering and no competitive Internet package.
The deal is more than a week away from being completed, said another person familiar with the matter, who added the sides were still in talks on a price which could come in close to $95 a share, depending on how much cash or stock is in the transaction. The person said White’s departure was also still being negotiated. The price could go as high as $100 a share, two other people said.
Talks of the merger have been leaked for some time now (see: T, DTV: AT&T Rumors Swirl Over $40B DirecTV Merger).
The outstanding issue is whether regulators will allow these consolidations to continue moving forward.
AT&T withdrew from its plan to purchase T-Mobile US Inc. years back while facing antitrust opposition. And a DirecTV and Dish Network merger was blocked a decade ago.