AT&T says it is buying DirecTV for $95 per share, or $49 billion, a move that gives the telecommunications company a larger base of video subscribers and increases its ability to compete against Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which agreed to a merger in February.
Dallas-based AT&T's proposed combination could improve its Internet service by pushing its existing U-verse TV subscribers into video over satellite service, and thereby free up bandwidth on its telecommunications network.
AT&T currently offers a high-speed Internet plan in a bundle with DirecTV television service. The acquisition would help it further reap the benefits of that alliance.
DirecTV would continue to be based in El Segundo, California, following the merger.
The companies expect the deal to close within 12 months following a government review.