AT&T x DirecTV | NYTimes.com
Stashed in: Illusion of Choice
Mass consolidation means less choice.
AT&T agreed on Sunday to buy the satellite television operator DirecTV for $48.5 billion, trying to tilt the balance of power with media companies as the market for broadband Internet and video shifts.
With the acquisition, AT&T becomes the latest telecommunications giant seeking to establish an even greater reach.
Comcast agreed in February to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, a bid to become the country’s dominant provider of cable TV and high-speed Internet access. And Sprint, which is controlled by the Japanese telecom company SoftBank, has made no secret of its desire to merge with T-Mobile USA, creating a serious rival to Verizon and AT&T.
“The media chessboard is moving more this year than it has in the past decade,” said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst with the brokerage firm BTIG. “You’re seeing major shifts. Everyone is jockeying for position.”