AT&T and DirecTV: Will consumers buy another telecom merger?

James Dennin, Kapitall: The rumor is AT&T wants to buy DirecTV. Will consumers accept another huge telecom merger? 

AT&T (T) recently announced plans to pay $50 billion for the satellite TV provider DirecTV (DTV). That would be the second major telecom merger of the year, assuming that authorities approve of Comcast's (CMCSA) bid to buy Time Warner (TWC)

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Yet while consumers may cringe at the thought of more consolidation in an already unpopular industry, there is a chance that the merger may provide some much needed competition. 

AT&T was already planning a major expansion by acquiring the European phone maker Vodafone (VOD), so  the move is seen by some as a direct response to the union of Comcast and Time Warner.

AT&T's cash would make DirecTV a much more formidable competitor to the two cable giants, and AT&T will broaden its product offerings to lure in new domestic customers rather than trying to seek those new customers abroad. 

The announcement also raises the question of what is going to happen to Vodafone. While some think that the stock is still attractive without a potential buyer for the shares, there's no denying they could have used AT&T's cash as the company undergoes a major $20 billion upgrade of its network over the next two years. 

We decided to build a stock list with all the players in the current wave of telecommunications mergers. Do you think regulators will approve them? Use the list below to begin your analysis and let us know what you think in the comments.  

Click on the interactive chart to view data over time. 

1. AT&T, Inc. ( T): Provides telecommunication services to consumers, businesses, and other service providers worldwide. Market cap at $171.02B, most recent closing price at $32.47.

 

 

2. DIRECTV, Inc. ( DTV): Provides digital television entertainment in the United States and Latin America. Market cap at $39.29B, most recent closing price at $75.12.

 

 

3. Vodafone Group plc ( VOD): Provides mobile communications in Europe, Africa, the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and the United States. Market cap at $200.23B, most recent closing price at $41.20.

 

 

4. Time Warner Cable Inc. ( TWC): Operates as a cable operator in the United States. Market cap at $39.06B, most recent closing price at $139.16.

 

 

5. Comcast Corporation ( CMCSA): Provides entertainment, information, and communications products and services in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $133.65B, most recent closing price at $51.15.

 

(List compiled by James Dennin, a Kapitall Writer. Monthly returns sourced from Zacks Investment Research.)

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