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AT&T, DirecTV set to meet on merger

The boards of AT&T and DirecTV are set to meet Sunday on their potential US$50-billion megamerger, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

NEW YORK: The boards of AT&T and DirecTV are set to meet Sunday on their potential US$50 billion megamerger, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

AT&T would pay about US$95 a share to take control of DirecTV, the Journal reported, citing sources close to the deal. An agreement could be announced as soon as Sunday.

An AT&T spokesman declined to comment on the report, and no one was immediately available at DirecTV.

A merger between the two companies would create a potent rival to cable TV giant Comcast, which hopes to expand its coverage with the pending takeover of Time Warner Cable.

DirecTV has about 20 million customers, making it the number-two pay-TV company in the United States.

A combination of AT&T and DirecTV would have about 26 million customers, the Journal said, behind the 30 million of a Comcast-Time Warner Cable tie-up.

DirecTV has suffered in the market in recent years because its land-line competitors like Comcast are better able to bundle high-speed Internet services with television.

At the same time, the takeoff of entertainment delivery on demand via the Internet and wireless devices like smartphones has nearly stalled growth in the traditional pay television industry overall.

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