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AT&T plans to acquire satellite TV operator DirecTV for $48.5 billion, the companies announced Sunday, marking the latest in a series of mega-mergers that are reshaping the cable and telecom landscapes.

The deal would elevate AT&T, the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier, into a major player in the pay-TV business. The company would have 26 million video subscribers after combining DirecTV with its existing landline TV offering, U-verse.

That could help AT&T bundle video and Internet services to better compete with Comcast, which is making its own $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable. In another sign of industry consolidation, SoftBank, fresh off its successful acquisition of Sprint, is reportedly lining up an offer for T-Mobile.

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