AT&T Inc. (T)’s Acquisition of DIRECTV (DTV) Under State Attorneys General Radar

AT&T Inc.

State attorneys general have extended their investigation to validate the acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) by Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and included AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s acquisition of DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) in their books.

Earlier, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) offered $48.5 billion to acquire DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) and the proposal is now under the radar of different states including New York and California. Florida is another state to join hands in the investigation whereas Indiana currently declined to comment on their commitment with the start attorneys general. It is a common practice among attorneys general to work with the Justice Department in mergers that are likely to affect the consumers in their respective states.

AT&T Inc.

Michael Balmoris, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) spokesman, said,

“We look forward to discussions with these state attorneys generals on the significant consumer benefits created by this merger.”

Majority of antitrust experts are expecting the deal to pass; however, there are some potential factors to consider. First, there might be a considerable competition loss in the target states where AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) offers high-speed internet, delivery of television programming (U-Verse), and home phone services. DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) is a satellite TV provider in the same regions.

Further, local cable operators are worried that the merged company would have too much power over the creation and distribution of programming along with the costs associated in the process. Some questions are being asked about the affect of this acquisition over AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s broadband network expansion plans.

Earlier, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) introduced its trade-in program for iPhone users under which, the company would offer $300 for ‘eligible’ iPhone 5S and up to $200 for other versions up to iPhone 4. The offer will be affective from September 12 through September 30.

This article has been written by Prakash Pandey.

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