AT&T is reportedly courting DirecTV

05/01/2014 10:25 AM

05/01/2014 9:25 PM

AT&T has started discussions with DirecTV to possibly buy the satellite TV operator, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Citing unnamed sources, the paper reported that DirecTV would be "open to a deal."

AT&T and DirecTV couldn't be reached for comment. However, if confirmed, the move would be the latest sign of possible changes for the television industry, which is going through a period of consolidation.

If the two sides ever came to an agreement, it would be one of the largest — if not the largest — pay TV industry acquisitions, possibly even surpassing Comcast's deal to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion.

As of Wednesday, DirecTV's market value totaled about $39.6 billion.

DirecTV, based in El Segundo, Calif., had $8.6 billion in revenue last year and provides satellite TV service to about 20 million subscribers in the U.S. and 17 million in Latin America.

In March, unconfirmed reports surfaced that Dish Network was potentially interested in a merger with DirecTV.

Dallas-based AT&T's U-Verse TV service, which uses fiber optic lines, gained 201,000 customers in the first quarter and reached 5.7 million. AT&T is the U.S.'s largest telecom operator.

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