AT&T set to buy DirecTV for $48.5bn

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The US telecoms firm is set to buy the satellite television provider in a joint cash plus shares deal worth a reported $48.5bn (£29bn).

The Washington Post are reporting that the deal is almost completed and AT&T will pay $95 for each DirecTV share. The share purchase is split between $28.50 in cash and $66.50 worth of shares in AT&T stock.

The acquisition will turn AT&T into a telecom and television behemoth like close rival Comcast. They will have access to DirecTV's 40 million US and Latin American customers.

AT&T already offer their customers mobile phone and broadband packages, so when this deal goes through in approximately 12 months time they will be able to expand their bundles to include satellite television.

The directors at both companies have agreed the deal but now it is subject to approval by the shareholders at DirecTV, before being reviewed by US regulators the FCC and the Department of Justice.

AT&T chairman and chief executive Randall Stephenson said in a press release: ""This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens - mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes."

DirecTV is America's largest television provider just like Sky is the leading provider in the United Kingdom. AT&T claim the merger will enable them to cover approximately 70 million customer locations.