The deal would give AT&T a an additional 20 million TV subscribers

Just as the tech industry, lawmakers, and consumers are trying to grapple with the scope of Comcast’s $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable (TWC); AT&T is making waves with a huge acquisition of its own. AT&T announced today its intentions to purchase satellite TV provider DirecTV for $48.5 billion.
The deal, which will be comprised of both stock and cash, was first rumored early this month and isn’t too terribly surprising as AT&T and DirecTV currently work together to provide bundled phone, internet, and TV service.
According to the USA Today, AT&T currently has 5.7 million customers on its homegrown TV service, U-verse; but the DirecTV acquisition would give it an additional 20 million TV subscribers. For comparisons sake, the combined Comcast-TWC would have 30 million TV customers.

[Image Source: Fox News]
If the deal is approved, AT&T would offer bundled high-speed internet, TV, phone, and mobile services though all of its 2,300 branded retail stores and its numerous authorized dealers.
“This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens – mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes,” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. “At the same time, it creates immediate and long-term value for our shareholders.”
Other details about the merger include AT&T’s intentions to abide by the FCC’s net neutrality rules for three years following the deal’s approval. AT&T has also made it clear that it plans to expand its broadband service to 15 million customers (mainly in rural areas). In addition, AT&T will offer standalone broadband speeds of “at least 6 Mbps” to customers who are currently served by its wireline IP broadband service and don’t wish to partake in the company’s TV service offerings.
AT&T expects to complete the transaction within 12 months following regulatory approval.

Sources: AT&T, USA Today

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