AT&T - DirecTV deal worries some industry experts
Dallas, TX (CNN) - A huge deal affecting 25 million television subscribers would create a new media conglomerate - the second-largest US provider after Comcast. The proposed alliance between AT&T and DirecTV worries some industry experts.
Nearly $50 billion: That's the hefty price tag AT&T agreed to pay for DirecTV, America's largest satellite TV provider. This deal is just the latest in a wave of media consolidation.
Comcast revealed its plans to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion dollars in February, and Sprint parent company, Softbank, has been expressing its interest in sealing the deal with T-Mobile. The inevitable concern is that these new internet and video powerhouses could take more control over your screens - all of them.
Michael Weinberg – Vice President, Public Knowledge: "With that consolidation and that reduction of competition, we see fewer things happening and prices mostly going up for consumers and subscribers."
There may be some potential good for consumers: AT&T and DirecTV say the acquisition could mean new bundles that would bring TV and internet options across all of your screens, even those in cars and airplanes. The fate of this new alliance rests in the hands of the FCC.
Michael Weinberg: "The Federal Communications Commission has a role to look at all these mergers, both individually and against the landscape that they're operating with, and say, 'Are these mergers in the public interest?'"
If both deals pass regulation, AT&T and Comcast would control nearly two-thirds of the US pay TV market.