Watch out, Comcast. After weeks of rumors, AT&T announced it plans to acquire DirecTV for $48 billion, about the amount that analysts had estimated the deal would be worth. The merger will secure a sizable chunk of the pay-TV customer base for AT&T, as DirecTV has about 20 million subscribers, and raise new concerns about competition and consumer choice. The new company is expected to be a formidable rival to the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, and gives AT&T access to DirecTV’s $2.6 billion in free cash flow.
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