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Leading US financial news outlets are reporting that communications giant AT&T is set to make a pay-TV market-disrupting acquisition of US satellite firm DirectTV in a deal worth $40 billion.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, a buyout has been prompted by Comcast's prospective $45 billion acquisition of fellow cableco Time Warner Cable. If the deal goes ahead, and it would be subject to the same regulatory scrutiny, AT&T would be able to rival Comcast in terms of size and reach in a company boasting 26 million TV subs, six million of which would be from the AT&T U-Verse service. Analysts also believe that arch-rival Verizon would feel the need to make its own similar strategic acquisition.

To date neither AT&T nor DirecTV has commented on any possible takeover.

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