In a $48.5 billion deal, AT&T has agreed to acquire DIRECTV. A move that increases their subscribers to about 26 million nationwide.
The agreement includes an exit clause which is dependent on an extension of DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket contract that expires at the end of next season. If an extension isn’t made by the end of this year, AT&T has the right to walk away from the merger.
With a Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger on the horizon, it seems as though an AT&T and DIRECTV merger would even out the playing field. There are some skeptics that aren’t quite convinced that the merger will have much impact since AT&T U-verse is currently only available to about 25% of the country. However, according to the agreement, AT&T is going to expand U-verse broadband service to 11 million homes.
Another asset the merger would give AT&T is the acquisition of 83 percent of Brazil and 62 percent of Colombia’s cable and satellite customers that DIRECTV and America Movil currently control. America Movil representatives have yet to comment on the merger.
What does this mean to you as a consumer? AT&T stated in Sunday’s press release that they are making a, “commitment to expand and enhance broadband to 15 million customer locations, primarily in rural areas.” They went on to say that the merger will offer a, “stronger competitive alternative to cable” and that the company will continue their commitment to net neutrality.