While Comcast’s $45.2 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable has yet to be approved by regulators, a competing television goliath could already be in the making.
Telecommunications giant AT&T has allegedly approached satellite television leader DirecTV about a merger that could be worth as much as $40 billion, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal .
An amalgamation of DirecTV’s 20 million customers with AT&T’s 5.7 million landline-based television subscribers would closely rival the nearly 30 million combined viewers of Comcast and TWC.
An AT&T spokesman declined to comment; DirecTV could not be reached for comment.
News of a potential purchase comes as the satellite television industry has reached relative maturity in American homes, the Journal reports, and also does not offer competitive internet access in the way that cable companies do.
From AT&T’s perspective, the company sees video delivery as key to its future, and has been in talks with both DirecTV and competitor Dish Network in recent years, reports the Journal. If a merger were to go through, then AT&T would be able to bundle both wireless and television services, and also deliver video in a new way to its mobile customers.
While yet another merger in the pay television realm would likely face intensifying scrutiny by regulators, according to the Journal, it might also be approved “because offering video or voice service alone is viewed as a dying business and the combined company would be in a position to compete with Comcast.”
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