Telecommunications giant AT&T is proposing a $48.5 billion merger with satellite TV provider DirecTV. If the deal goes through, here's what customers can expect:
— At the moment, nothing. The deal is subject to government approval in both the U.S. and Latin America. Until the transaction is approved, the companies will operate separately. AT&T and DirecTV expect to close the deal within 12 months.
WHAT CAN AT&T and DIRECTV CUSTOMERS EXPECT?
— Customers of both companies will likely see more offers bundling DirecTV's 285 TV-channel service with AT&T wireless and Internet services. AT&T currently offers some plans that bundle DirecTV service, but customers get separate bills from the two companies.
— Within a few years, AT&T says, consumers can expect to get more DirecTV content on their mobile devices, or even streamed into cars or airplanes.
— Customers who only want broadband Internet service and get video through services like Netflix and Hulu, will be offered stand-alone broadband service at guaranteed prices for three years.
— DirecTV customers can continue getting the service on a stand-alone basis at nationwide package prices for at least three years.
— Within four years, AT&T would provide high-speed broadband to more than 15 million customers, mostly in rural areas. Customers will be able to buy broadband as a stand-along option or as part of a bundle with other AT&T services. With that expansion, AT&T says its broadband network would reach a total of 70 million customers.
— AT&T says it will remain committed, for at least three years, to federal open internet protections established in 2010 despite recent court action striking down the so-called "net neutrality" provisions.
Source: AT&T, DirecTV