One big question is whether AT&T could get a merger past federal regulators, who are already looking closely at the proposed Comcast deal. A serious move by AT&T to pursue DirecTV (more on that in a bit) would trigger a pretty complicated game of regulatory chess: The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department would probably need to determine whether or how an AT&T-DirecTV merger would affect a Comcast-TWC merger.
But perhaps it won't get to that point. In a research note, analysts at Moffett Nathanson say it's unlikely that AT&T is serious about going after DirecTV. The only way AT&T could make real money off the deal would be if it bought the profitable DirecTV just to bolster its revenues rather than merging it in a significant way with its other services.
"Perhaps that’s enough," the analysts wrote in a research note. "But it isn’t strategy; if simply buying cash flows is sufficient, AT&T could just as easily buy a pharmaceutical firm. Or a dog racing track."
Still, it's a fascinating rumor that hints at an eventual convergence of companies that historically functioned in separate industries.