DirecTV Shares Rise After WSJ Reports Possible AT&T Bid

DirecTV rose to its highest price on record today after reports that AT&T Inc. is considering a bid for the satellite-television company.

AT&T, the biggest U.S. phone company, approached DirecTV about a purchase, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the situation who it didn’t name. A London-based spokesman for AT&T declined to comment when reached by Bloomberg News. A DirecTV spokesman didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment before regular business hours.

Television companies in the U.S. are consolidating, and AT&T wouldn’t be the only suitor for DirecTV this year. Dish Network Corp. chairman Charlie Ergen called DirecTV Chief Executive Officer Mike White to discuss a merger of the two satellite businesses, people with knowledge of the matter said in March. The talks follow Comcast Corp.’s agreement this year to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for $45 billion.

DirecTV rose 4.1 percent to $80.76 at the close in New York, giving it a market value of $41.2 billion. The stock had gained 37 percent in the 12 months through yesterday.

Dallas-based AT&T fell less than 1 percent to $35.58. The company has a market value of about $185 billion.

Dish, which has a market value of $27.6 billion, rose 5.9 percent to $60.21.

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