AT&T is inching closer to acquiring DirecTV at a price of approximately $50 billion, which is about $10 billion more than previously reported, according to Bloomberg, while other sources said Monday that a deal could be announced in the next couple of weeks.
The Wall Street Journal first reported two weeks ago that AT&T was interested in buying DirecTV for $40 billion, although the news didn’t move the stock much. Several days later shares shot up 8 percent, an indication that a better price might be negotiated.
A $50 billion deal for DirecTV would mean $100 per share, but they closed down 1 percent Monday at $87.16, before surging 6 percent after the closing bell.
Under the plan being discussed, DirecTV management would continue running the company as a unit of AT&T, according to Bloomberg, which cites people familiar with the negotiations.
Executives at DirecTV and AT&T are figuring on a 12-month regulatory process before such a merger earns governmental approval, and DirecTV chief executive officer Mike White could exit the company after the merger — or perhaps prior to its completion.
If AT&T and DirecTV were to combine, the merged company would serve about 26 million television customers — a smaller number than a combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable, which would service 30 million TV customers if and when their proposed merger is completed.