AT&T to purchase DirecTV for close to $50 billion

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AT&T has confirmed that it is going to acquire satellite television operator DirecTV for $48.5 billion.

With a customer base of more than 35 million subscribers (as of December 2012), DirecTV is the second-largest pay TV provider in the United States. AT&T notes that the move will create “a unique new competitor with unprecedented capabilities in mobility, video, and broadband services.”

So what does this mean for Apple? Potentially quite a bit.

While the purchase still needs to gain regulatory approval, given the relationship between Apple and AT&T, maybe a future Apple TV could have the option of integrating with DirecTV: arguably a more attractive option than adding a subscription-based Comcast streaming service.

Apple has pursued similar negotiations before, although the company ran into problems when it tried to convince both Comcast and DirecTV to let customers use their Apple IDs for credentials instead of Comcasts or DirecTV’s systems.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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