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AT&T sells off its DirecTV subsidy in Latin America

AT&T has agreed to sell its DirecTV subsidy in Latin America to Grupo Wetherin, the company announced on Wednesday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though financial news service Reuters reported AT&T incurred an impairment charge of $4.6 billion earlier this year as part of the move.

AT&T has sold off various media assets in order to draw down debt after acquiring the DirecTV business in 2015 and Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) in 2018.

Both mergers failed to yield positive financial results for the company. Earlier this year, AT&T agreed to divest a portion of its stake in DirecTV to an investment firm while spinning off the business into a separate unit. The same thing will happen to its WarnerMedia division after the company agreed to spin off the entertainment giant into a separate company, one that is expected to merge with Discovery Communications next year.

Analysts say the earlier mergers proved to be a distraction as rival wireline companies Comcast, Charter/Spectrum and Cox Communications increased their spending on fiber-based Internet networks and competing wireless companies T-Mobile and Verizon expanded their next-generation 5G networks.

The divestitures are expected to help AT&T re-focus its strategy on its core wireless and fiber Internet businesses.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).