AT&T has reportedly approached DirecTV over the possibility of an acquisition valued at more than $40 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. A deal between the carrier and the satellite-TV provider could create a massive new corporation on a par with the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger.
Early talks over a possible deal reportedly began after Comcast announced its plans to acquire Time Warner Cable earlier this year, though the WSJ isn’t sure how far along these discussions have progressed. One source claims DirecTV is open to the deal, which comes at a time when the TV industry’s growth is beginning to slow. Around 90 percent of U.S. homes currently pay for some sort of television programming, while some are already opting to cut the cord in favor of Internet streaming options.
If AT&T moves forward with its plan, the acquisition would face review from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. However, one source told the WSJ that the deal has a good chance of approval, though that may depend on whether the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is approved first. Unlike the two cable companies, which essentially offer the same service in different regions, AT&T and DirecTV serve separate purposes, making it more difficult to write off the deal as a potential monopoly.