According to sources, the AT&T purchase of DirecTV is going to be announced tomorrow. Those familiar with the deal say it’s finalized, and just waiting on an announcement. Breaking news of the deal on a Sunday is odd, but the source of this may be even stranger.
The actual source for this news is Buzzfeed, best known for their lists of oddball stuff like “40 things only people who went to summer camp would understand”. Their sources say “the deal is done”, with DirecTV chief Mike White telling senior executives it’s just waiting on an announcement.
The merger would marry the largest satellite TV provider in DirecTV with an upcoming offering from AT&T in U-Verse. The combined offering would likely merge DirecTV’s 20 million subscribers with U-Verse’s 6 million or so. Buzzfeed also aptly point out it would increase AT&T’s cash holdings by roughly $2.6 billion, which is what DirecTV is sitting on.
The source didn’t offer details for the deal, but many believe it will check it around the $50 billion range. The deal, of course, would have to clear the FCC, and could have a ripple effect to the Comcast-Time Warner deal as well as the ongoing net neutrality squabble. AT&T is the second largest wireless carrier, and DirecTV is the largest satellite cable company. The merger would make AT&T a true telecom provider, and likely draw the attention of the FCC and telecom equality advocates everywhere.