AT&T agreed Sunday to buy DirecTV for nearly $50 billion in yet another mammoth deal in the pay-TV space this year that would immediately boost the telecom giant’s customer base at a time of confounding industry challenges. The merger, which both boards approved Sunday, is the latest evidence of TV-industry consolidation that underscores telecommunications companies’ desire to amass customers and control content and delivery. With streaming and wireless technology upending the industry, cable and satellite service providers are rushing to add product options while boosting revenue per customer to please shareholders. In the deal, AT&T would pay DirecTV shareholders $95 per share, valuing the satellite-TV service provider at about $50 billion.
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