Print 13 comment(s) - last by TheJian.. on May 3 at 9:42 AM

Deal would likely face regulatory scrutiny

Communications giant AT&T is looking at making a big purchase that would secure it one of the most popular satellite TV networks in the U.S. AT&T is said to be considering a purchase of DirecTV in a deal that could be worth $40 billion.
If AT&T buys DirecTV, it would make the combined company roughly the size of Comcast. Comcast earlier this year announced its intentions to acquire Time Warner Cable for just over $45 billion. A combined TWC and Comcast would have around 30 million subscribers. If AT&T and DirecTV combined, they would boast 26 million TV subscribers including the 6 million people on the AT&T’s U-Verse TV service.
The AT&T and DIRECTV deal would likely face stiff regulatory scrutiny – just as Comcast is expected to receive -- thanks to the size of the combined entity.
No official comments from AT&T or DirecTV have been offered at this time.

Source: Variety

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By Mitch101 on 5/1/2014 12:36:56 PM , Rating: 1
Time Warner and Comcast merger should be blocked more than AT&T and Direct TV

If Time Warner and Comcast are able to merge then their combined assets could force companies like Direct TV/AT&T U-Verse to pay more for TW/Comcast assets programming or limit DirectTV's programming over cable. Meet our demands or else. Not sure this is a good move for AT&T but then AT&T owns a lot of sattelites it probably benefits DirecTv more than AT&T. Hard to say.

Wonder hot this effects AT&T Broadband/Comcast? Conflict?

Not sure how this would benefit consumers.

RE: Hmmmm
By stm1185 on 5/1/2014 2:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
Anywhere you have the choice for AT&T Uverse TV you almost certainly have the choice for DirecTV, NOWHERE do you get a choice between Comcast and TW...

Which is why if any merger deserves to be blocked it's this one. In this case the reduction in competition is actually real; and not just Comcast hate inspired idiocy.

RE: Hmmmm
By Mitch101 on 5/1/2014 5:22:28 PM , Rating: 1
Not sure why you think I would have bias toward Comcast?

I have Time Warner and Direct TV. In my area I can also get cable from MI-Connection but they cost more than Time Warner and the board of directors have questionable staff members.

RE: Hmmmm
By sorry dog on 5/2/2014 1:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
Anywhere you have the choice for AT&T Uverse TV you almost certainly have the choice for DirecTV, NOWHERE do you get a choice between Comcast and TW...

The problem is that a combined Comcast/TW will create a MSO (multiple system operator) that will dwarf the size of all of the next biggest MSO's. Might as well forget about municipal broadband. I think in most markets that will lead to a duopoly of Comcast vs. ATT or Verizon or other telco's using a different type of broadband tech. Comcast will have huge advantage in buyer and supplier power in the coax based ISP and TV/entertainment markets. To help you imagine the many scenarios that will lead to, just google Porter's 5 forces. The many companies that provide service and products will literally be in a supplier solely to Walmart situation except to a even greater extreme. The choice of providers in many markets, even in suburban areas, is already at 2 or just 1, and I see nothing this will do to improve that... we are sort of talking about the company that just won the least popular company contest.

I'm still having trouble wondering why this proposed merger has not received the same or greater amount of flak compared the to the Tmob/ATT merger. Using the usual number based measures like the Herfindahl index, it should be more obvious that the Justice Dept should contest this based on ISP and MSO criteria... then again maybe Comcast is just getting bang for their lobbying buck than ATT.

By reddog007 on 5/1/2014 11:50:35 AM , Rating: 2
Why do they want to get into that business? Would make more sense if they bought Charter or something. Shoot even dish so they can get access to their 50MHz of wireless spectrum which AT&T could REALLY use.

RE: Wow
By NellyFromMA on 5/1/2014 12:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
They already are in the TV space through a program called U-Verse. From what I can tell, its way over priced, but this buy up makes a little sense in that context.

That said, its a WAY more boring topic than T-Mobile + Sprint.

i hope not
By SPOOOK on 5/2/2014 1:47:36 AM , Rating: 3
if this happens then I will have to cancel my directv I don't deal with the filthy crooks that is att they robed me years ago and I will never have anything to do with them if I could I will put them out of business and bankrupt them dogs

RE: i hope not
By dsquare86 on 5/2/2014 6:02:53 AM , Rating: 1
You took the words right out of my mouth. I haven't ever been an AT&T customer but I am not a fan of these mega national corporations who cram their shitty products and services down our throat because we have no alternative and they know it.

Comcast comes to mind.

By theplaidfad on 5/1/2014 12:04:55 PM , Rating: 1
So the wireless company that just so happens to change the highest rates to its customers has extra money to throw around and buy up other companies.

Color me shocked!

RE: Shocking.
By xti on 5/1/2014 1:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
uverse was cheaper than twc in austin area. neither was a great "value" but definitely uverse was cheaper.

uverse as a good product is another story, IPTV is just...weak.

Abuse us as you see fit
By blueaurora on 5/1/2014 9:50:53 AM , Rating: 2
We are Borg... Assimilate us all. Choice is but an illusion.

RE: Abuse us as you see fit
By FITCamaro on 5/1/14, Rating: 0
Block all media mergers today
By TheJian on 5/3/2014 9:42:04 AM , Rating: 2
None of these mergers is good for users. Less choices/competition=HIGH PRICES
Or let them merge under conditions like, must upgrade network 10x faster in under 2yrs or every single subscriber gets a bill cut to 75% until you upgrade. Anything that forces them to upgrade or basically go bankrupt if they don't. Google threatens to roll-out in Austin TX and a response comes BEFORE google can roll out. Which only serves to prove my point. They have the money to upgrade but would rather milk you until forced and if never forced they'll claim they can't afford it forever.

They all should be forced to spend $20B on upgrading networks first. They all seem to have $40bil-45b around to buy out the largest companies, but none seem to be able to afford the $20bil estimated to upgrade USA. Odd?

Worse, now even google is against net neutrality because they want to be the next comcast too. Expect toll booths and prices of everything you have today to go up shortly as netflix has already alluded to ($1-2 a year most likely from here out as more tolls pop up for all the content you ALREADY paid for via your connection).

I pay $100 to cable internet so they won't ask what is being delivered nor how much I'm using. They have no right to charge extra for what I'm looking at no matter who it comes from or how much bandwidth it uses (this is double dipping). If you have a bandwidth problem, upgrade the network like you promised years ago.

If a news server can go $6-10 (many in this range) for unlimited 50Mbit and you can peg your connection ALL DAY, then what is your problem at $100 when that plucky little news company has to pay YOU for bandwidth out of that $6-10 and they still do VERY well. FYI those prices have been coming down for ages. IE usenetserver years ago it was $15/mo. Now you can get it for $10/mo and even less if you buy a year (not a recommendation, just showing how cheap bandwidth is today).

Comcast alone has added 50B+ in assets in the last 10yrs, and pocketed $30B+ in profits (NET, they make 11B+ pre-tax) while buying back 20% of their shares during those 10yrs. Note the bulk of profits ($20b) came in the last 4yrs and climbing to almost 7B last year NET. At this rate 3yrs of income = an upgrade that will last for ages, yet all they can do is lobby and merge for 40-45B at a pop. You can merge as soon as your done spending $20B to upgrade your networks on EACH side of that merger ;) Until then I hope you all go bankrupt.

Google has joined being outright evil now, but I'd still rather see them buy netflix or something (for all the subs and content deals they have done already, not to mention great shows they are making) and put the hurt on all cable companies until they die (before they figure out a way to kill netflix). At least they only want $70 for unlimited+700Mbit-1Gbit. Of course that only lasts until cable is bankrupt ;)

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