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AT&T’s $49 Billion DirecTV Bust

The gambit didn’t pay off

It wasn’t supposed to end up like this. The purchase of DirecTV was going to be a surefire springboard for AT&T Inc.’s (NYSE:T) ambitions to be a prominent player in the entertainment and media business. AT&T executives viewed the DirecTV medium, which, at the time, controlled one-fifth of the pay-TV market, as a cost-effective and viable launching pad for the company to enter the entertainment distribution business.

The acquisition was fraught with risk from the start. At the time of purchase in 2014, the company knew a significant share of the 18 to 29-year-old demographic was dropping

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