Looks like consumers are about to get another kick to the nuts after AT&T said it will buy DirecTV



NSFW    AT&T announced it plans to buy DirecTV, the top US satellite TV operator, for $48.5 billion in an attempt to grow beyond an increasingly hostile cellular market.

The deal was announced on Sunday. AT&T said it is offering $95 per DirecTV share in a combination of cash and stock, a 10 percent premium over Friday’s closing price of $86.18. The cash portion, $28.50 per share, will be financed by cash, asset sales, financing already lined up and other debt market transactions.

If the deal is approved by US regulators, AT&T would add 20 million DirecTV customers to its paltry 5.7 million U-verse customers, plus another 18 million DirecTV customers in Latin America.

With DirecTV, AT&T would become the No. 2 provider of television subscribers behind a combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable. AT&T and Comcast would control more than half the market for television packages.

The problem for AT&T is that satellite TV subscriptions have flattened, and more customers are cutting the cable TV cord in favor of web-based options. The problem for consumers is that these days US regulators are really into Monopoly.
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