FCC Approves AT&T-DirecTV Merger
WASHINGTON – The FCC has approved the merger of AT&T and DirecTV into a single entity, AT&T-DirecTV. However, the commission has also issued a set of conditions on which the merger will be required to follow.
The first condition is that AT&T-DirecTV is required to expand its deployment of high-speed, fiber-optic broadband Internet access service to 12.5 million customer locations, as well as E-rate eligible schools and libraries. AT&T-DirecTV is also prohibited from using discriminatory practices to disadvantage online video distribution services and must submit its Internet interconnection agreements for review by the FCC. Lastly, broadband services will be offered to low-income consumers at discounted rates.
These conditions will remain in effect for AT&T-DirecTV for four years after the merger closes.
AT&T announced its intentions to acquire DirecTV in May 2014 for the price of $48.5 billion.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel voted in favor of the deal; commissioner Michael O’Rielly concurred in part, and commissioner Ajit Pai dissented in part.
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By Tom Butts