AT&T and DirecTV’s $48.5B merger approved, but with strict conditions for AT&T

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AT&T and DirecTV’s $48.5 billion merger has been approved today following more than a year of regulatory review. The merger will see AT&T become the biggest pay-TV company, passing up cable company Comcast. AT&T says it will serve more than 26 million U.S. customers and 19 million users in Latin America.

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As part of the regulatory approval, the FCC has applied several conditions to the merger, all of which will be imposed for four years and enforced by internal and external compliance officers. Some of the conditions include protections for rival companies and a requirement that AT&T expand high-speed Internet to schools and low-income areas.

AT&T has promised to buildout high-speed Internet to more than 12.5 million customers and to sell Internet access to Americans without building it with TV services. AT&T will also have to share all traffic exchange agreements it makes with content and web transit companies with the FCC.

The Justice Department remarked that it found no significant reasons for the merger not to be completed and coupled with the conditions set forth by the FCC, the benefits of the merger will be realized.

AT&T is, of course, pleased by the news and the opportunities it opens up:

“We’ll now be able to meet consumers’ future entertainment preferences, whether they want traditional TV service with premier programming, their favorite content on a mobile device, or video streamed over the Internet to any screen,” AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said.

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  1. taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

    4 years of monitoring won’t do anything.

    I’m curious what video services will be available or included on AT&T Wireless plans.

    Fact sheet for anyone who cares.

  2. Evan - 8 years ago

    Not.. sure.. if good thing or not… Sounds like it could be good for us!

    I’ll take the optimistic approach :)

  3. spiralynth - 8 years ago

    Free Sunday Ticket streaming on any AT&T subscriber’s devices!

    Ah, one can dream …

  4. carmenia83 - 8 years ago

    Get ready for tiered residential data plans…

    • finngodo - 8 years ago

      AT&T already has tiered broadband plans.

  5. J.Johnson - 8 years ago

    So AT&T can merge but not the other two cable companies that just tried. Hmm…

    • vpndev - 8 years ago

      Seems strange but isn’t really. Comcast has huge media presence (NBC Universal, and others) and the combination of that leverage and big ISP footprint is what killed the deal. Comcast should have realized this, but didn’t. Too much hubris, I guess.

  6. this IS me! (@hoits2000) - 8 years ago

    Fewer competition means we lose again. Thanks a lot FCC. Two expensive companies together here come the rate hikes. I’ll be staying with Dish, thanks.

  7. I fail to see how this will be beneficial. can someone explain this to me?

    • finngodo - 8 years ago

      To consumers? No benefits. Neutral at best.

  8. Two companies I will never do business with ever again.


Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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