Join The Discussion

 

Super PAC Men: How political consultants took a Fort Worth oilman on a wild ride

The head of a Texas oil dynasty joined the parade of wealthy political donors, aiming to flip the Senate to Republicans. By the time consultants were done with him, the war chest was drained and fraud allegations were flying

read more >

Bridge collapse on I-35 north of Austin

SALADO, Texas (AP) — Emergency crews are responding to a reported bridge collapse along an interstate in Central Texas.

read more >

Latin-inspired restaurant set to open in downtown Fort Worth

Downtown Fort Worth’s dining scene is about to get spicier with the opening of a new restaurant featuring Latin-inspired coastal cuisine.

read more >

Amazon begins Prime Now program in Dallas area

If you just have to have it now, as in one hour, you can, at least in the Dallas area, as Amazon.com Inc. announced Thursday it will offer Prime Now.

read more >

Texas jobless rate falls as employers add workers

Texas unemployment fell to 4.3 percent during February for the sixth straight month of declines, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

read more >

 

Is AT&T trying to buy DirecTV?

Brian Stelter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- If Comcast and Time Warner Cable is round one, AT&T and DirecTV might be round two.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday night that AT&T has approached DirecTV, the largest satellite TV distributor in the United States, about a possible acquisition. The Los Angeles Times reported that "exploratory talks" are underway.

Shares of DirecTV surged nearly 6% in early trading Thursday on the reports.

A pairing of DirecTV's roughly 20 million TV subscribers with AT&T u-Verse's 5.7 million subscribers would rank No. 2 behind the combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which is expected to end up with almost 30 million subscribers if the merger receives government approval.

For all these companies, the same logic seems to prevail: having more subscribers will give them a stronger hand in determining how television and the Internet will be delivered to homes in the future.

AT&T and DirecTV declined to comment on Thursday. AT&T has also been the subject of numerous rumors about a tie-up with the country's other big satellite TV distributor, Dish Network, in the past. And DirecTV has also flirted with a possible merger with Dish. Comcast's mid-February announcement about merging with Time Warner Cable refocused attention on what the satellite distributors might do.

Randall Stephenson, the chief executive officer of AT&T, has also been paying attention. He recently called the Comcast-Time Warner Cable combination "a blockbuster deal" and an "industry redefining deal from our standpoint."

He said the combination "creates an impressive business" and predicted that government regulators would eventually approve the merger.

But does AT&T need a "blockbuster" deal of its own? On Thursday, veteran industry analyst Craig Moffett expressed skepticism. After all, there were also some rumors last year that AT&T might want to buy British telecom giant Vodafone.

"It feels to me like strategy by process of elimination -- first Vodafone, then Dish, now DirecTV -- rather than by a disciplined strategy of acquiring the right set of assets to compete. That is usually a terrible way to build a company," Moffett said in an email message. "It could probably be approved, but if you're AT&T, be careful what you wish for."

Still, other AT&T rivals may be looking to team up as well. Shares of T-Mobile and Sprint were both up sharply Thursday following new reports that Sprint may try and make an offer for T-Mobile. Rumors about such a deal have been circulating for months. And a tie-up between the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the U.S. would certainly put more pressure on AT&T as well as Verizon.

< back

Email   email
hide
Catch
How 'bout them Cowboys?