New TV Merger? AT&T Mulling Bid $50B for DirecTV

May 13, 2014 8:27am
GTY direct tv1 ml 140513 16x9 608 New TV Merger? AT&T Mulling Bid $50B for DirecTV

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Morning Money Memo….

Streaming TV is a huge growth industry and that may the main reason why AT&T may be willing to buy DirecTV for more than $50 billion.

The proposed takeover would be the latest merger in the pay-TV, giving AT&T, the second largest cell phone company, control over the largest U.S. satellite television provider. Consumer groups are already crying foul.

DirecTV shares rose more than 4 percent with reports that a deal could be close.

The negotiations come as AT&T “increasingly views video-whether via pay TV service or delivered over the Web or its wireless network-as central to its future,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this year Comcast reached agreement to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. Federal regulators may raise objections to the merger.

Another big deal is in the works. The giant pharmaceutical company Pfizer appears to be ready to sweeten its bid for Britain’s AstraZeneca.

Top executives from both companies are appearing today before a British Parliamentary panel which is discussing a potential deal. Pfizer pledged to keep jobs in Britain if its takeover of AstraZeneca is successful.

Merger talk is one reason why Wall Street investors have regained their appetite for riskier stocks.

Among the big gainers Monday were Twitter and Facebook, which had plunged in March and April. The Standard & Poor’s 500 and Dow Jones stock averages both closed at record highs.

More price relief for U.S. motorists as gas prices continue to fall. The U.S. Energy Department says the average price for regular gas has fallen 5 cents a gallon in the past two weeks.

GasBuddy says the drop has been significant in California, and Connecticut, two of the states with the highest gasoline costs.

Europe has a message for Google: forget some of what you know.

The European Union’s Court of Justice says Google must amend some search results at the request of ordinary people when they show links to outdated, irrelevant information. The ruling is considered an important test of the so-called “right to be forgotten.”

The court ruled that Google has control of individuals’ private data and users may approach Google to request links to personal information be removed.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is in Beijing. He’s urging China to ease exchange rate controls and lower barriers to foreign investment in the world’s second largest economy.

In a statement today Lew says China should “demonstrate a renewed commitment to move to a more market-determined exchange rate.”

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow

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