US hearings into DirecTV/AT&T start
Today (June 17) will see the US House Judiciary Committee start its hearings into the proposed take-over by AT&T of satellite broadcaster DirecTV. AT&T is looking to pay $67 billion to acquire the pay-TV operator.
If the plan receives regulatory approval, then it will combine the USA’s second-largest cellular operator with the largest satellite TV provider.
With the House also examining the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger plan, there is now speculation that – if both of these deals win approval – the flood gates will open on similar as well as smaller mergers. A major report in the June 16 edition of the Wall Street Journal suggested that some major content-makers and channel owners are considering how the future might pan out.
The WSJ suggests that smaller channel operators – and names AMC and Food Network – “will look to join larger conglomerates”. The Journal also says that Hispanic broadcaster Univision has also held talks with both CBS/Viacom and Time Warner about a sale that could value Univision at more than $20 billion.