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AT&T Agrees to Purchase DirecTV (Was: ATT looking to buy Direct TV)


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#201 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 05:26 AM

James doesn't want this to happen for 2 reasons , Comcast / Time Warner
Directv/ ATT.

Dish network/ Nobody.
= The End for Dish.

 

The end for Dish how? AT&T owning Directv jumps AT&T's subscriber count by over 300%, but only bumps Directv's by 30%. So instead of roughly 50% bigger than Dish it is roughly twice the size of Dish. I don't think that's really an issue.

 

Anyway, if partnering up is the only way to survive, there are plenty of potential partners left. Aside from the obvious one, Verizon, there's also Cox and Charter. They're not that much smaller than Uverse - and hell, if the FCC allows TWC/Comcast and AT&T/Directv, it would be hard for them not to allow Dish/Verizon/Cox/Charter and they'd have a company almost as big as AT&T/Directv and TWC/Comcast.

 

Man, I hope that doesn't happen. You know most of the smaller ones like Mediacom would join one of the above and we'd eventually be left three huge cable/satellite companies that don't really compete too hard so they can make more money by squeezing their customers!

 

One interesting thought about AT&T/Directv. If someone lives Uverse country, I wonder how much of a discount they'd get if they wanted both Directv and Uverse? For the channels each has the other doesn't, protection against rain fade by having cable, and against cable/power outages by having satellite. It might be an interesting option for people in Uverse country if they figured customers already paid for the programming once and mostly just charged them for the additional equipment.


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#202 OFFLINE   PCampbell

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 05:40 AM

This is what has happened in the airline business. Prices have gone up for all, I fly a lot and can look at expense reports over the last six or more years and see a big change. Delta bought Northwest and it all became Delta. Sent from a Delta flight at 34000 ft.

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#203 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:10 AM

This is what has happened in the airline business. Prices have gone up for all, I fly a lot and can look at expense reports over the last six or more years and see a big change. Delta bought Northwest and it all became Delta. Sent from a Delta flight at 34000 ft.

 

To be fair, airlines were almost all losing money, a situation that couldn't continue forever. The argument for allowing money losing airlines to merge was a lot better than the argument for letting nicely profitable cable/satellite providers merge.


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#204 OFFLINE   Pepe Sylvia

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:50 AM

Does anyone know why ATT wants to buy Directv? That's a lot of money, so they must have something in mind. Hasn't Directv plateaued as far as customer growth? Does ATT see a way to increase their customer base, or worse, are they after their infrastructure? (I.e. repurposing of satellites)

Edited by Pepe Sylvia, 13 May 2014 - 08:41 AM.


#205 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:53 AM

Other than breaking up the US and LA parts of the business, it is hard to imagine how Directv could be effectively split up.


I agree. I only brought it up because it was the only reason I could think of why AT&T would sell DirecTV the year after buying it. Intellectual property and access to programming would be the only items of separate value that come to mind for a buy and dump.If AT&T buys DirecTV I'd expect the deal to last at least five years.

BTW: I don't see "I give you $50 billion and you walk away" as being a merger. It is an acquisition. Sometimes mergers are written up as acquisitions ... but I don't see AT&T using that language here.
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#206 OFFLINE   JB3

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:15 AM

I agree. I only brought it up because it was the only reason I could think of why AT&T would sell DirecTV the year after buying it. Intellectual property and access to programming would be the only items of separate value that come to mind for a buy and dump.If AT&T buys DirecTV I'd expect the deal to last at least five years.
 

 

What's the associated spectrum worth? Could AT&T repurpose that or argue that it can be shared with terrestrial broadband?


Edited by JB3, 13 May 2014 - 07:16 AM.


#207 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:22 AM

I agree. I only brought it up because it was the only reason I could think of why AT&T would sell DirecTV the year after buying it. Intellectual property and access to programming would be the only items of separate value that come to mind for a buy and dump.If AT&T buys DirecTV I'd expect the deal to last at least five years.

BTW: I don't see "I give you $50 billion and you walk away" as being a merger. It is an acquisition. Sometimes mergers are written up as acquisitions ... but I don't see AT&T using that language here.

 

The airlines mostly didn't merge either, but from the perspective of consumers, when you have two competitors and they become one, it is a merger, regardless of whether it is actually a merger or really a buyout from the perspective of the companies involved.

 

I'm sure Directv has some intellectual property, but certainly not anything worth buying them to get. And if AT&T wants Directv's programming "talent", they must be in sad shape indeed on the Uverse side of the house :)


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#208 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:23 AM

What's the associated spectrum worth? Could AT&T repurpose that or argue that it can be shared with terrestrial broadband?

 

Directv's satellite spectrum must be used for DBS, so it is already being used in the most valuable / only way it can be. I don't know the FCC's rules regarding sale of spectrum, but even if it can be sold (which I doubt) it would require shutting down parts of Directv's business which would incur far far more cost than whatever revenue would be generated.


Edited by slice1900, 13 May 2014 - 07:25 AM.

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#209 OFFLINE   fleckrj

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:43 AM

I am one of the "wait and see" people. 

 

Except for eight years during the 1970s when I had General Telephone and Mountain Rural (aka "Mentally Retarded") telephone, I have had ATT land line service since 1952, and I have had ATT DSL for the past three years.  All I can say is that ATT's land line service is far superior to what General Telephone or Mountain Rural had.  I cannot speak about customer service because I have never had to call them.  The phone and internet work, and that is all I care about.

 

I do agree that the ATT supplied gateway is not very good (although it is N), but that was an easy fix.  I just disabled the wireless portion of the gateway and use my own router.

 

I have no experience with ATT wireless.  Because of the frequency they are assigned, their signal will not penetrate my house.  My only options are Verizon and Sprint, and of the two, I have had better experience with Verizon.

 

UVerse is not available in my neighborhood, and neither is VIOS.  If I do switch, my only options are TWC and Dish, and neither of those seem to be better options than DirecTV, even if DirecTV ends up being owned by ATT.



#210 OFFLINE   VABlitz

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:53 AM

I'm not sure how the AT&T acquisition would work, but I would be against any of the cable monopolies purchasing them. I only have Cox Cable in my area, not only is their service expensive but the majority of the cable channels look horrible on my TV. I do not want a more expensive product with lousy service and crappy customer service. If a merger like that happens, I think my TV watching days would be over. Which would be a good thing, save me money and give me a lot of time to do other things.  



#211 OFFLINE   CraigerM

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:12 AM

What I don't get is why ATT needs DTV when they have a video service already? Could it be they do want to merge the two systems so they can expand? Maybe they could offer a combined triple play service where you have a number of options?

 

I could see DTV not needing DECA, the Wireless Cinema Connection Kit or that Wireless video bridge. You could have DTV's equipment and RVU connect to a customer's LAN with a UVerse WIFI Gateway installed. What if they combined the DTV and UVerse installers and trained them on both systems? Then that way an installer could come out with UVerse or DTV boxes and UVerse's Wifi Gateway.


Edited by CraigerM, 13 May 2014 - 10:27 AM.


#212 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:56 AM

It's too early to say that it's true, and too late to say that it's untrue.

 

Hmm, this is beginning  to disturb me.  I'm big on: Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.  

 

Rich



#213 OFFLINE   SteveHas

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:59 AM

Most of these mergers/acquisitions are motivated by increased revenue regardless of the industry.

These deals seem to be at least partially funded by elimination of redundant operating costs, i.e. HR, AP, AR, Purchasing, common manufacturing platforms, product quality often decreases as the pressure to reduce operating costs necessitates cutting corners wherever possible.

Anti-Trust means nothing today as our economy continues to eat itself alive.

Personally I cannot think of a large scale merger such as this that has not ultimately meant a decrease in value to the customer, or quality of goods/services. I could be wrong, but I simply can't think of one case where this was a good thing for the consumer. The "we need to do this to survive" bs in many but not all cases doesn't hold water any more either.


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#214 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:01 AM

Why would AT&T do that to Directv? A given provider is bit-starved if they lack sufficient bandwidth to carry their channel load. Unless U-Verse added a bunch of HD channels, there is no point to turning down HD quality on Directv. It would be like putting all your stuff in three rooms of your house and leaving three other rooms completely empty. You could do it, but why would you?

 

Seems logical, I hope you're right.  

 

Rich



#215 OFFLINE   CraigerM

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:38 AM

Just read an article online that ATT might want DTV to free up their Internet bandwidth to be more competitive with cable internet. They would switch to satellite TV in order to do that. What if ATT reconfigured all their DSLAM's and VRADS for just Internet and Phone only and used DTV for TV and do a triple play that way? Would UVerse's program guide be better than DTV's?



#216 OFFLINE   snowcat

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:00 PM

 Would UVerse's program guide be better than DTV's?

I have had both, and DirecTv's guide is much better than UVerse.  Uverse follows the cable method, using low numbered channels for SD and high numbered channels for HD.   It is paid to hide all those SD channels, and the few that don't have a HD equivalent just look out of place.

 

DirecTv has SD and HD with the same number and can autohide the SD channels with HD versions.  Much, much easier to use.



#217 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:57 PM

Other than breaking up the US and LA parts of the business, it is hard to imagine how Directv could be effectively split up. How else could they conceivably divvy it up? LifeShield and the Replay IP are a drop in the bucket compared to the ~ $50 billion acquisition price.

If AT&T was interested in acquiring a satellite company for a specific piece, Dish would make more sense. As you pointed out, they've been more acquisitive than Directv has been, and they hold a lot of juicy spectrum AT&T would love to get their hands on. Of course, that alone would probably put the kibosh on any possible Dish buyout, even if Ergen was willing as the FCC is trying to avoid further concentration of wireless spectrum among the big 2/big 4.


Like I said it's not DIRECTV they want to split up. It's themselves to get rid of copper. ;)

#218 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 01:38 PM

Like I said it's not DIRECTV they want to split up. It's themselves to get rid of copper. ;)

 

You think they're going to sell their RBOC business? Who is a potential buyer for that? Or are they just going to spin it off as an independent company to sink or swim?

 

It is highly unlikely the FCC would allow them to keep the areas they've built out to fiber and spin off only the copper. Spinning off their RBOC business would have to be an all or nothing deal. AT&T's TV offering would be Directv only, Uverse would be spun off along with the lines that deliver it.

 

I suppose AT&T could still see that as a good thing, they'd have a national TV offering to go with their national wireless offering and be more direct competition for a Comcast that would be essentially national.


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#219 OFFLINE   skaman74

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 02:01 PM

the fcc will never allow this...hopefully


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#220 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 02:25 PM

You think they're going to sell their RBOC business? Who is a potential buyer for that? Or are they just going to spin it off as an independent company to sink or swim?

 

It is highly unlikely the FCC would allow them to keep the areas they've built out to fiber and spin off only the copper. Spinning off their RBOC business would have to be an all or nothing deal. AT&T's TV offering would be Directv only, Uverse would be spun off along with the lines that deliver it.

 

I suppose AT&T could still see that as a good thing, they'd have a national TV offering to go with their national wireless offering and be more direct competition for a Comcast that would be essentially national.

 

What is their national wireless offering?  

 

Rich



#221 OFFLINE   CraigerM

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 02:36 PM

If they do merge would DBSTalk merge the DTV and UVerse forums?



#222 OFFLINE   crkeehn

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 02:47 PM

Everyone seems to be so worried about what negative things may happen to Directv if AT&T buys them out. Does no one see a chance of positive outcomes? Nobody thinks there's a chance of the things were Directv falls short improving if AT&T owned them? You'd think Directv was the greatest and most well-run company in the world that could only be hurt and never be improved upon with all the doom and gloomers here talking about how bad this acquisition would be.

 

Directv isn't exactly well diversified, to put it mildly, and if things started turning sour for the satellite TV business in general Directv customers would be a lot better protected being part of a more diversified company like AT&T rather than having all their eggs in the satellite basket which could quickly become a downward spiral if the cord cutting movement goes from a trickle to a flood and cable/satellite starts bleeding customers. AT&T has their wireless and U-verse internet to fall back on if that happens, Directv and Dish have....nothing.

 

There has been some discussion about Dish eventually doing something useful with all the cellular bandwidth they own, but they'll have to invest billions putting up towers. With AT&T, Directv would immediately have access to that, without needing to put up a single tower. I don't really know what they could do with it, but presumably Charlie Ergen does since he's spent billions on. If/when someone figures that out, Directv goes from a much worse position than Dish to do it to a much better position than Dish overnight.

I have dealt with ATT both in Maryland and North Carolina.  In both places my experience has been similar.  Technically  they deliver a solid product (I currently have U-Verse internet and phone service).  Their business practices are terrible and I can figure on spending an extended period of time correcting what they had messed up the prior time I interacted with them.  In addition they failed to follow through on the initial offer when I signed up.  At the time I signed up, I was entitled to a web enabled device for signing up.  Instead I got grief and a runaround which had me on the phone for extended periods of time, trying to straighten the issue out.  I never got the web enabled device I was entitled to.



#223 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 02:55 PM

If they do merge would DBSTalk merge the DTV and UVerse forums?

No, that's silly.


If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#224 OFFLINE   Pepe Sylvia

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 02:59 PM

the fcc will never allow this...hopefully

 

** Conspiracy Theory **

 

This is all a ruse to submarine the Comcast / TWC deal.



#225 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 04:21 PM

If this goes through, will the NSA have access to my DVR recordings?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:D






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