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AT&T reportedly interested in acquiring DirectTV to better compete against Comcast

AT&T reportedly interested in acquiring DirectTV to better compete against Comcast

AT&T is reportedly interested in acquiring satellite TV provider DirectTV. DirectTV is currently the second biggest U.S. pay TV provider, with roughly 20 million customers while AT&T's TV business reaches roughly 5.7 million. Combined, AT&T and DirectTV would be better positioned to compete against Comcast, especially when and if their Time Warner Cable buyout goes through. That's according to the Wall Street Journal:

Acquisition of DirecTV would give AT&T a national footprint in pay television at a time when the telecom company sees video delivery as core to its future. An acquisition would allow AT&T to offer bundles of wireless and TV services, and could give AT&T new ways to deliver video to its mobile and broadband customers.

If a deal is ever made — and it remains a big if — it's hard to tell whether or not it would help customers by providing better service and cheaper overall, bundled prices. Given the precarious state of net neutrality these days, and the U.S. government's willingness to entertain mergers like Comcast/Time Warner — not to mention Comcast/NBC Universal! — bigger might also end up meaning the opposite of better.

A future where internet companies are and own TV distribution, never mind networks and production companies, is the opposite of the dumb-pipe destinies many consumers long for.

AT&T buying DirectTV is just a rumor for now and a lot can happen between talks and deals being made and approved. In the meantime, let me know — how would you feel about AT&T owning DirectTV?

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Reader comments

AT&T reportedly interested in acquiring DirectTV to better compete against Comcast

101 Comments

Sorry to hijack your of topic post, but I was trying to decide what to have for breakfast this morning. Anybody have a good idea?

Yep, I think so too.

And AT&T acquiring DTV would be awesome.

Comcast is the worst, they provide very little options, their internet connection is total shit as you share the speeds with everyone in the neighborhood vs having a dedicated 12+Mbs like ATT does.

I feel quite opposite, cable internet is much better than anything att can provide us here in central coast California. Your lucky if ATT speeds here are at least 1 Mbps. Charter cable internet offers me 30Mbps @ $55.00
I have basically guaranteed 30 Mbps, usually it's in 40Mbps.

Really? Comcast charges way more in San Francisco, I get a blazing 15Mbs, and it's freaking terrible. No other internet company offers anything close to Comcast. It's total crap.

You can already bundle DIRECTV with ATT services. For example I have Att Uverse internet with DirecTV satellite service bundled together.

Not really, if you don't have att, you would need to open an account with att and pay it all on it's own, it's not really a bundle.

Yeah the bundle price is pathetic. You get $5-10 off for bundling. If you have a billing problem good luck! They bounce you around telling you, you have to call one department, then that other department tells you to call back the other. It's a hot mess. I work there, trust me.

I have dtv and use att for my cell and have no issues with billing, unlike Comcast they charge a lot more for very little amount of tv channels vs dtv I have over 400 viewable channels and pay a lower fee. Getting rid of Comcast was a blessing and helps me save money.

Good. I have both, AT&T for my Lumia 920 and have had excellent Directv service for 7 years. Any competition for comcrap is a good thing. Paying them too much for internet and it keeps going up. Maybe I could get a bundle deal if this merger ever happened. Lol.

DirecTV already competes with Comcast everywhere Comcast has service. AT&T is not really a better company than Comcast or DirecTV, they all suck.

Amazon is working on that too, and just like dtv, you'll need internet connection for the shows and programming to DL.

It's all good if you have a good internet provider

ATT in my area is the worst as far as customer service, quality of service, on top of that they mysteriously added extra charges to my account. I will not go back with them for at least 10 years. Hopefully never

It'd be another all powerful congolmerate trying to weasel into my wallet with intially bundling great deals, then 2 years later, our bills will suddenly starting massive rate increase, ever decreasing customer service from a non-US call center dude named 'Bruce' (yeah right), shifting channel packages to make sure the good channels are spread far and wide in the Plus, Ultra Plus, Mega Plus, Super Mega Plus and Ultra Super Mega Plus packages and no competition to keep them in check.  Then...they'll start forcing me to watch a commercial every time I hit the Guide channel just to see what's on...

Essentially, they'd ruin everything great about DirecTV.

That's why I think it would bad.

If anything, we've been only going left since WWII. Went from #1 to shit because of liberal's lack of common sense.

But to be fair, both sides are complete puppets. I'll take the patriot act and NSA, for example.

Democrats: "Oh no, Bush passed the patriot act!"

Republicans: "Oh no, Obama took advantage of the patriot act!"

See how stupid it sounds?

democrats are just as bad, were under democratic rule right now, so all the blame goes to them. Anyway I was gonna switch to direst tv so i can get the sports package, but if att gets it then i guess ill have to pass., the only company that should merge with dtv is tmobile, the it would stay affordable 

Well just because we have a democratic president, it does not mean that he's making all the laws. Republicans run everything right now, who's decision was it to shut down the government? And who's decision was it to vote against raising the minimum wage throughout the whole U.S.? It wasn't the president.

And tmo has no money to buy out dtv. Anyway, it's just a rumor that att would buy dtv anyway. If anything I bet Verizon would be the one to buy dtv.

I was actually going to say this too, this has capitalism and free market written all over. What they want is the government having more control on business being allowed to buy or merge.

Unregulated free market capitalism does not create a healthy economy. What we need is well regulated capitalism. Since the trend of deregulation, our society is quickly becoming a plutocracy at best, but has the potential to become a full on oligarchy.

Problem is thought that the regulation has gone too far and has been corrupted itself. The government is supposed to be a referee and shit like Obamacare proves if something is fucked up, then the gov will come and screw it up even more.

Right, the key is "well" regulated not overregulated. Too many people in America can only think in extremes. Naive terma like socialism, communism, liberalism vs fascism, are all extremist terms that in no way represent the American constitution. So some isolated instance of overregulation turns into full on deregulation of everything. Too many political extremists in a mostly moderate country.

Well said. As corporate entities both AT&T and Direct TV are expected to look out for their best interests, to earn a profit. Nothing wrong with that. But at some point the "unbridled enthusiasm" for making a profit turns in to greed and impacts society as a whole. The resulting synergy may be good for the plutocrats and not so great for the consumer and the larger public.

Who here is also aware of the stupid ass US government trying to make internet service a utility??? Get ready for a plummet in speed and quality if that ever happens...

Actually I would think the opposite would happen. In countries where the internet is owned by the state they have cheaper service and faster speeds. The broadband situation in the US is kind of a joke, we pay far more and have much lower speeds than most other countries.

I don't have cable or satellite because these companies price gouge the consumer. If they make a deal with the sports people then they should have to pay for it. Not divy up amongst the consumer. Even if said person don't do the extra sports some of the cost is in the plan already. IF I could ah la cart my channels at a decent price then maybe we could negotiate. But as it is ill just stick with my internet.

Does anyone honestly think these large media companies combining is a good thing? I want a dumb pipe for my internet, and to choose my TV service separately through IPTV services that you'll start to see rolling out shortly. Being restricted to Comcast or AT&T in my area has not done anyone any favors.

I don't like Google, but I like two services from them. YouTube and Google Fiber. I want Google Fiber, and I don't live in one of two of those cities it is in...

I don't like Google either, but I live in one of the cities that Google Fiber is offered and it is so fast that I can't download stuff fast enough. I love it! That and YouTube are the only services I use from Google.

I actually wouldn't mind if AT&T brought more competition against Comcast. I know many people who have Comcast and they hate it.

I cant stand Google ever since they forced Google+ on to Youtube and completely ruined the site as well as handing over data and privacy information to the NSA.

This. YouTube is incredible, no escaping it, no alternatives. And I'd love Google Fiber. But I'm not in one of the very few cities it's been announced for, and I'm not fond of the idea of Google being able to, quite literally, look at all my internet usage. Shame, because I'd love 1GBPS internet! Especially since I hear they're making it really affordable ($70/month, I hear?).

I have both and I like both but I don't like this one company rule bullshit. I am absolutly against this.

Looking forward to this. Would love to nix Comcast, even though I'm from Philly. Do not like their poor technical support and high prices...

I used to work for Time Warner many years ago, when they first started rolling out cable broadband all over the couuntry. I must say that back then and for maybe a long time, I thought cable internet was crap and DSL was a better option. But now, cable has come a long way, and I actually like what Comcast has to offer. I do like that AT&T has to offer on tv better though. I seem to get better TV packages, at least the people I know with AT&T do, and I like the way their guide and box functions work better. 

Sorry for this off topic query.. I'm planning to switch from android to windows phone.. But I'm just worried about the notification issues being discussed in the forum(especially whatsapp). Is there a fix for it?? Also I read a lot of books from Google play books.. is there a similar app in wp8?? Somebody please help.. thanks..

This is a bad area to ask this. Create a thread in the forums to get better answers. I don't have whatsapp problems in my 1520 running 8.1

Typically if you ever, at any point, have to explicitly state, "Sorry for being off topic," it's usually best to not press the 'submit' button.

Hit up the forums, plenty of helpful folks will be willing to assist you.

The one thing you can certainly expect from this deal is higher prices. Ever year around February, AT&T raises prices on Uverse. If you don't believe me, just wait again next year and you'll see some type of fee being raised. They certainly won't lower prices that's for damn sure.

Prepare yourself for a massive high speed internet bottleneck in the coming years as well. Obama apparently thinks he needs screw up yet another private sector industry.

at first I thought that was a good thing, as I already use both of them and wish I could get more from both of them. But then remembered, isn't AT&T the comany that helped make every american know the horrors of a monopoly in the 1980's to the point the government got more involved in one company than it had maybe ever?!

I'm i business student and interested in the implications but want the technology to develop as well. Also live in a city with one of the few local POTS -telephone companies, Cincinnati Bell that goes head to head with Time Warner. people accept time warner because they have no compititoin and many dont like what others say about Comcast. We know the implications of companies getting too big. but maybe comcast is the devil company this time.

"Comcast NBC Universal Time Warner" uh maybe the government needs to say no once in a while to Comcast takeovers.

I would rather see AT&T bring Uverse to my area than have them buy Directv and tell me to just use that instead. None of these buyouts are benefitting consumers.

NOOOOO!!!! AT&T has an internet monopoly in my area and refuses to provide services to new residents (for 4 yrs now) unless you count their offering us dial-up. I love my DirecTV, its reasonably priced, reliable, and willing to work with their customers, in other words, everything AT&T is not.

I don't know how this morphed into a political debate, but I think this is history repeating itself like when Ma Bell owned all the telecommunications. It had to be broken up because there was a corporate monopoly.
Do I think att acquiring DirecTV is a good thing? It would have to be a wait and see kind of situation to see if it's well regulated and how it's structured.
xx - here's hoping! - xx

Nothing good can come of this, just like the Time Warner/ Comcast merger supposedly prompting this merger. In the end, the consumer loses. Hope it doesn't go through, or net neutrality will be threatened even more than it already is.

NOOOOOOOO!!!! I have DirecTV and I love it but I have AT&T DSL and I hate it. ATT has the worst customer service and they always add mysterious charges to my bill. The only reason I still have ATT is because Verizon FiOS isn't available in my area and the only company I hate more than ATT is COMCAST!!! I don't want ATT messing up my beloved DirecTV.

WINDOWS PHONE USERS

Sorry to bother you all but are you all tired of the laggy snapchat client 6snap, unreliable notifications and constant crashes? Please visit the link below and selct windows phone from the list so that snapchat make an app for out phones as soon as possible. If we all do it we can make a difference.

https://support.snapchat.com/ca/incompatible

Thank you.

Off topic comment here buddy. Also, my 6snap doesn't lag. I also turned off notifications from the app but when they were on they were reliable for me. I understand different people have different mileage but an official app might not magically give you reliable notifications.

I sure hope so I'd switch since I'm in an area with only dish and direct no cable and only have bitchass century link for internet wtf

Good because direct tv only offers tv not internet. So I have it bundled with century link with weak internet speeds.that's were Comcast dominates. They have the fastest internet speeds.

Dear God...please don't let this happen.

The last thing I would want to see is this. ATT Uverse is pathetic,and they don't know what they are doing with their own equipment,let alone with someone else's.

Mac

I wonder what would happen to other phone companies that bundle their services with them? Many people in rural areas do not have access to cable or fiber and have to go with phone + satellite for services.