AT&T will soon announce its acquisition of satellite provider DirecTV, according to Bloomberg. The company will reportedly propose an aggressive takeover bid of $100 per share, which values DirecTV at around $50 billion and is higher than the $40 billion figure floated previously. Both parties expect the regulatory process to take somewhere around 12 months, the report says. If AT&T is successful in its pursuit, DirecTV's current management will apparently remain in place post-merger and continue running things. But CEO Mike White may not stick around long; Bloomberg claims he's planning a 2015 retirement.
AT&T could spend up to $50 billion
An earlier report from The Wall Street Journal today said the formal offer could arrive within two weeks. But that article also warned that both sides have come close to reaching an agreement before only to have things fall apart in the eleventh hour. There's always the possibility this latest round of negotiations could meet the same fate, even if everything appears on track right now.
But if AT&T moves forward, the colossal merger attempt would come in a season that's been heavy with acquisitions. Comcast is currently continuing its quest to purchase cable competitor Time Warner Cable; AT&T's latest deal might not be met with the same degree of scrutiny, but it's still likely to raise concerns among consumers and advocacy groups. Elsewhere, Sprint is said to be eyeing a buyout of T-Mobile US and Apple is reportedly nearing a $3.2 billion pact with Beats Electronics. AT&T knows the risks of these high-level acquisitions better than most. In late 2011, the company famously gave up on its dreams of buying T-Mobile in the face of stiff resistance from the FCC and US Justice Department. This time, the company reportedly hopes Comcast's buyout of Time Warner Cable convinces regulators that the industry is rapidly shifting.