This combo made from file photos shows the AT&T logo on the side of a corporate office in Springfield, Ill., left, and a DirecTV satellite dish atop a home in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
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AT&T Inc. plans to pay $48.5 billion to buy DirecTV, in the latest sign that the wireless industry and the U.S. television market are set to converge as customers consume more video on their mobile devices.The combination with DirecTV, the No. 1 U.S. satellite TV provider with 20 million customers, would beef up Dallas-based AT&T's packages of cellular, broadband, TV and fixed-line phone services.AT&T and DirecTV made their announcement just a few months after Comcast Corp. offered $45 billion for Time Warner Cable Inc., a transaction that would create the leading U.S. cable and broadband Internet powerhouse.AT&T is likely to face questions from regulators about the deal's impact on competition in those areas where its U-verse service now competes with DirecTV in offering television.Dish's chief, Charles Ergen, has said that he does not have the cash to outbid AT&T for DirecTV. Dish tried to buy DirecTV in 2001 in a deal that was blocked by regulators. DirecTV is the latest in a string of takeover targets that AT&T has considered. DirecTV has agreed to pay a $1.4 billion breakup fee to AT&T in the event that it pursues another transaction with a higher bidder, the companies confirmed.
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