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AT&T and DirecTV have formally asked the Mexican telecoms regulator for permission to merge their local assets. DirecTV owns 41 per cent of DBS broadcaster Sky Mexico, while AT&T has corporate telecom services in Mexico. Sky Mexico is majority owned by Televisa.
AT&T has already announced it would sell its 8.4 per cent stake in América Móvil, the Carlos Slim-backed telco and broadcasting giant. Slim is forbidden to broadcast pay-TV in Mexico, but is very active elsewhere in Latin America where he has some 20 million pay-TV subscribers. The move ends a 24-year relationship with Slim for AT&T.
This means that DirecTV – also active in Latin America where it has some 18 million subscribers – will now battle head-to-head with América Móvil for DTH consumers.