In context: As services like Netflix and Hulu encroach on market share formerly held by satellite TV firms, companies like AT&T have begun looking for ways to divest their cable and pay-TV assets. That's why the cellular data provider is doing its best to rid itself of its struggling DirecTV service (the operational portion, anyway) – but without much success, it seems.
Though AT&T has reportedly received multiple offers for DirecTV, they've all proven disappointing thus far. According to The New York Post, none of the offers have surpassed the $15 billion mark.
AT&T, for one reason or another, feels DirecTV is worth far more than that and has threatened to simply cancel the auction outright if the bids don't ramp up soon.
To help expedite the sale and reinforce DirecTV's value (in AT&T's eyes), the company has reportedly gone directly to "private equity giant" TPG Capital. AT&T hopes TPG will "study the books" for DirecTV and issue an offer that "props up the price."
Just for reference, AT&T initially acquired DirecTV for a whopping $66 billion in 2015 – with that in mind, it isn't difficult to see why the company would be disappointed with the numerous $15 billion offers it has received so far.
While those offers may only net the buyer 49 percent of DirecTV (AT&T hopes to maintain a controlling interest, if possible), it seems AT&T still feels that they're too low to be worth considering.
Whether or not AT&T will manage to persuade potential buyers to fork over some extra cash for DirecTV remains to be seen. We'll also just have to wait and see if it's bluffing about ending the auction, but it does seem likely given how poorly DirecTV has been performing lately. Still, anything is possible, so perhaps the service can be turned around, given enough time.