The FCC is going to approve AT&T’s $48.5 billion DirecTV acquisition


Another day, another multi-billion dollar acquisition by AT&T. Instead of buying out another Mexican company, however, the American telecom giant is about to receive the permission it needs to go through with its $$48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV. After months of regulatory reviews by the FCC, it looks like this year’s biggest media deal is about to receive the federal governments go ahead. 

Federal regulators are poised to approve AT&T Inc.’s $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, ending a review process that lasted more than 12 months and clearing the way for the biggest media deal of the past year. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said an order has been circulated to the agency’s other four commissioners recommending approval of the deal. The agency has attached numerous conditions, including requirements that AT&T expand its fiber-optic broadband service. The company will also be required to apply any broadband-data caps it imposes on customers to its own over-the-top video service and content to eliminate any chance that it can take advantage of rivals. No requirements were included related to net neutrality. The Justice Department also signed off on the transaction. The acquisition, which was announced in May 2014, will make AT&T the nation’s largest pay-television provider at a time when companies are navigating huge shifts in television as video consumption moves online.

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