updated 06:40 pm EDT, Sun May 18, 2014
Boards of both companies agree unanimously to the deal for $95 per share
Today, AT&T and DirecTV reached an agreement over the acquisition of the satellite provider by one of the nation's largest cellular carriers. The details of the deal, which will come to a total of $49 billion, will see AT&T conducting a stock-and-cash transaction based on the closing value of AT&T's stock on Friday. The deal was agreed upon unanimously by board members on both sides.
The sum of the deal comes from the $95 prince per share that AT&T will be paying to acquire the satellite company. According to the Wall Street Journal, $66.50 will come from AT&T's stock, while the remaining $25.80 will be paid in cash. The resulting company will likely be a major competitor in emerging media services, adding the ability to further bundle phone, television and broadband applications to fit customer needs.
"This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens-- mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes. At the same time, it creates immediate and long-term value for our shareholders," said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson in a statement.
Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will expand broadband service to an additional 15 million customers in many areas where AT&T doesn't have a presence currently. Stand-alone broadband and DirecTV packages will still be available for three years after the closing of the deal, keeping the company from requiring that customers pickup the new company's services together. Pricing will also be the same for three years, under the agreement.
AT&T says it would also agree to abide by the net neutrality rules set forth in 2010 for a three-year window after the conclusion of the deal. The announcement also states that the purchase won't have any effect on AT&T's plans to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction.
The deal will still have to undergo regulatory approval, but it has positioned AT&T as the second largest provider by subscriber base under current circumstances. The customer base would reach 26 million for AT&T, only four million behind the pool that would be created from the pending Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger.