DirecTV Was in Talks With Competitor Prior to AT&T Deal

Less than a week before it announced its $67 billion merger with AT&T, DirecTV continued to hold talks with an undisclosed competitor, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday.

DirecTV first held talks with the competitor, identified only as Company A, back in 2011, but broke off discussions in September of that year without an offer being made. DirecTV chairman Mike White and his counterpart at Company A met briefly when both attended a conference in Washington D.C, in December of 2013, discussing operational challenges and the potential for a combination. Those talks heated up in February 2014, in the wake of Comcast’s announcement that it would buy Time Warner Cable in a deal valued at about $69 billion in stock and assumed debt.

DirecTV and Company A continued to hold discussions at a dinner meeting the evening of the Comcast/TWC announcement, with the DirecTV board requesting further information on Company A’s spectrum holdings, its strategic alternatives and further analysis into the likelihood of receiving regulatory approval for a deal.

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