Thursday's Breakfast Briefing: AT&T eyes acquisition of DirecTV

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AT&T eyes DirecTV
AT&T has approached DirecTV about an acquisition, a deal that would rival the pending Time Warner Cable-Comcast merger in scope, according to The Wall Street Journal. An acquisition of DirecTV would also give AT&T more options to deliver video content to mobile and broadband customers. Meanwhile, Sprint is meeting with financial institutions to secure funding for a move to buy T-Mobile.

Analysts place bets on Publicis-Omnicom merger
Bloomberg News interviewed several analysts about the still-in-the-works Publicis-Omnicom merger, with one saying the odds the marketing services mega-deal actually happens are "50-50." Another speculated that Omnicom officials may be having second thoughts about going through with the merger, wondering, "maybe these markets aren’t as attractive as we thought." Reuters reported that the two holding companies have lost $1.5 billion in business in recent months, as well as key staffers.

Facebook adds privacy safeguards
Billion-plus-user-strong social network Facebook is limiting the amount of information that users have to share with third-party apps or websites to just email addresses and public profile information. The shift could help Facebook subdue privacy concerns as it becomes more of an entrance point to the Internet than a destination.

Barra leans on group of GM veterans through crisis
General Motors CEO Mary Barra has relied almost exclusively on a circle of top insiders as she has dealt with the company’s Chevrolet Cobalt recall crisis. The group includes products chief Mark Reuss, a former rival for the top position at the automaker. GM is searching for a replacement for departed communications leader Selim Bingol, whose roots were outside the auto industry at AT&T and FleishmanHillard.

Amazon broadens same-day shipping options
E-retail giant is widening consumers’ options for same-day delivery in cities such as San Francisco and Dallas, where the service is available, by allowing later order times. Yet same-day service remains unavailable throughout the vast majority of the country four years after its introduction.

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