Potential partners Comcast and Time Warner Cable were cellar dwellers in both the pay-TV service provider and ISP category of the recent American Customer Satisfaction Index of communications industries. Comcast nailed a pay-TV score of 60 and ISP score of 57, and TWC came in at 56 and 54 respectively on a 100-point scale.
Now that AT&T's bid to acquire DirecTV is official, and the FCC's rules for the spectrum screen and the 600 MHz auction are finalized, the merger-and-acquisition landscape in the wireless industry is now much, much clearer. Specifically, the proposed merger between Sprint and T-Mobile US appears significantly more daunting, and a Verizon purchase of Dish Network's spectrum appears somewhat more likely.
The sheer size of a merged AT&T-DirecTV entity should result in overall better video offerings and prices for consumers, executives from both companies suggested during a webcast detailing the proposed $48.5 billion acquisition.
Calling DirecTV the best video provider in the business, AT&T CEO/Chairman Randall Stephenson made video delivery across all screens--television and mobile devices--a key point in an investor call discussing its $48.5 billion acquisition of the satellite pay-TV provider.
AT&T's announcement that it will buy DirecTV in a $49 billion deal leaves Dish Network once again without a potential partner or suitor. However, analysts say the deal could be what pushes Dish and its Chairman Charlie Ergen to find a long-term wireless partner.
AT&T's bid to acquire DirecTV for $48.5 billion poses multiple challenges for the cable industry and, specifically, for Comcast's ongoing effort to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion.
AT&T agreed to purchase DirecTV in a $49 billion deal that will make the telecom company a major powerhouse in the pay-TV market. AT&T will gain DirecTV's 20 million U.S. subscribers as well as access to a portfolio of content that AT&T will be able to distribute across mobile, video and broadband platforms.
A team of internal merger-and-acquisition wizards conjured up a succession of deals over two decades that turned Midwestern regional telco Southwestern Bell into AT&T, now the largest U.S. telecom carrier by revenue. And although this famed merger team was frustrated in its attempt to close a merger deal with T-Mobile US in 2011 after antitrust authorities stepped in, it is still chasing deals both large and small.
Comcast's proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable is not necessarily expected to punch up the volume of dealmaking this year, but it is expected to boost prices, according to a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
AT&T is in talks to buy DirecTV for at least $50 billion--and if the two companies can come to terms, it would create a 26-million subscriber video powerhouse which would rival Comcast's proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable.