Anyway, I never said there were any guarantees that anything would get better with AT&T owning Directv. All I said there was no guarantee it would automatically get worse, as some people seem to believe.
In saying that it doesn't have to be worse you have presented an opinion that it could be better. This is the part of the thread where people disagree with you. You presented specific ways that DirecTV could be better off. The corollary is that DirecTV will be but a cog in AT&T's wheel. AT&T will probably be better off ... but there are few areas where DirecTV can improve. They are already doing pretty good.
DirecTV is not being purchased as a failing business that can be trimmed and turned around for a profit. Or as an upstart that could really grow if they received additional funding. They are a successful profitable mature business that will help fund AT&T's other endeavors.
I don't see ownership by AT&T as being the end of the world. But I don't see it as overwhelmingly positive.
If the AT&T sale doesn't happen, Directv could be bought by someone else next year. What is the difference if someone buys it when it is publicly traded or buys it from AT&T?
The difference is what happens to DirecTV in the interim. People who do not trust AT&T are concerned that AT&T may suck the life out of DirecTV. Perhaps $4 billion in profit each year ($18 per subscriber per month) won't be enough for AT&T and they will implement cost saving plans that negatively affect customer service or reduce discounts to make more profit. Perhaps they will introduce their own ideas on how receivers should work. As a company that already provides "cable" services they have their own preconceived notions on how to run such services. Are those ideas better than the current management of DirecTV? If the sale goes through we'll find out.
The status quo seems pretty good. Do you blame people who simply do not want to risk losing the service they have now?
Is any one else who has the money looking at DirecTV? This sale (if completed) will take a year to get through the regulatory process so one should not expect AT&T to sell to someone next year (unless they are buying it for a specific part of DirecTV then selling the carcass). The next sale would be years down the road when either DirecTV is no longer of value to AT&T or AT&T needs the money more than the annual income.
The concern people have is just how much damage a company like AT&T could do to DirecTV over the next few years. And while I agree with the "wait and see" approach (don't jump ship unless things actually go bad) I understand the concern.