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AT&T Takes $15.5 Billion Charge on DirecTV, Adds More Phone Customers

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AT&T Takes $15.5 Billion Charge on DirecTV, Adds More Phone Customers

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AT&T said on Wednesday it wrote down its premium TV business, which includes satellite television unit DirecTV, by $15.5 billion, reflecting the impact of years of cord-cutting in the industry as viewers move to cheaper online streaming services. The fourth-quarter writedown comes as sources have told Reuters AT&T has entered into exclusive talks to sell a minority stake in DirecTV to private equity firm TPG in a deal seen valuing the division at above $15 billion. AT&T purchased DirecTV for $68 billion including debt in 2015. The company said it also took a $780 million writedown on its WarnerMedia business due to the pandemic causing shutdowns on content production and viewers staying away from cinemas. AT&T Chief Executive John Stankey said during the earnings call with analysts that the writedown was a necessary economic move for the “unfortunate set of circumstances around the pandemic.” The writedowns partially eclipsed good news …

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