AT&T has officially announced their plans to acquire satellite television operator DirecTV for $48.5 billion.
The terms of the deal came together at roughly $95 per share (which comes to a grand total of $48.5 billion dollars).
If you add the nearly $19B worth of debt that DirecTV is towing behind it, though, this deal sets AT&T back to a price closer to $67.5 billion!
It appears that DirecTV will continue to operate as an (mostly) independent company for at least a while, even after the deal closes. They will be keeping their headquarters in El Segundo, CA, and AT&T has pledged to offer stand-alone DirecTV service for at least 3 years.
AT&T and DirecTV still have to convince regulators, in both the US and Latin America, where DirecTV has a fairly huge customer base (roughly 20% of its revenue stream), that this merger is a good idea. AT&T expects that to take at least 12 months — so if you’re worried about the deal impacting your service in any negative ways, know that you’ve got a year or so before that can even start to happen.
This deal also means quite a bit for Apple.
Given the relationship between Apple and AT&T, maybe a future Apple TV could have the option of integrating with DirecTV: arguably a more attractive option than adding a subscription-based Comcast streaming service.
Apple has also pursued similar negotiations in the past, although the company ran into problems when it tried to convince both Comcast and DirecTV to let customers use their Apple IDs for credentials instead of Comcast’s or DirecTV’s systems.