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What does the AT&T-DirecTV merger mean for telecommunications?

The AT&T logo is seen on June 2, 2010 in Washington DC.
The AT&T logo is seen on June 2, 2010 in Washington DC.
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AT&T agreed to purchase DirecTV for $48.5 billion on Sunday in the latest telecommunications merger. The deal follows other prominent acquisitions -- Comcast bought Time Warner for a similar amount of money in February.

The AT&T-DirecTV deal is distinct from other cable mergers in that the two businesses have little overlap -- AT&Ts wireless internet and phone services don’t compete with DirecTV’s satellite operations. Instead, AT&T plans to bundle services with existing internet and phone packages.

Critics argue that more mergers stifle competition in telecommunications, while proponents of the deal say that it takes giant businesses to compete with other giant businesses.

How will AT&T capitalize on the deal? What is DirecTV’s role in the industry? How could the merger impact consumers and other businesses?


Cynthia Littleton, television editor, Variety

Roger Entner, Founder and Lead Analyst of Recon Analytics, former Senior Vice President and Head of Research and Insights for the Telecom Practice of The Nielsen Company