Menu
AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV appears headed for approval with conditions

AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV appears headed for approval with conditions

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated his recommendation for approval of the deal

AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV appears headed for approval, with Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission circulating to commissioners an order recommending approval, although with some conditions.

The Department of Justice's Antitrust Division also announced Tuesday that it will close its investigation into the around US$48 billion deal.

Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Antitrust Division said in a statement that the division had concluded that the combination of AT&T's land-based Internet and video business with DirecTV's satellite-based video business does not pose a significant risk to competition.

The deal still requires the approval of four other commissioners of the FCC, besides Wheeler. If the conditions are approved by his colleagues, 12.5 million customer locations will have access to a competitive high-speed fiber connection, Wheeler said. "This additional build-out is about 10 times the size of AT&T's current fiber-to-the-premise deployment, increases the entire nation's residential fiber build by more than 40 percent, and more than triples the number of metropolitan areas AT&T has announced plans to serve," he said in a statement.

AT&T also has to meet conditions aimed to ensure net neutrality, building on the FCC's Open Internet Order. To prevent discrimination against online video competition, AT&T will not be allowed to exclude affiliated video services and content from data caps on its fixed broadband connections. The company will be also be required to submit all completed interconnection agreements to the FCC, along with regular reports on network performance. The FCC will also require an independent officer to help ensure compliance with these and other proposed conditions.

AT&T said in a statement that it hoped the order will be approved by the commission quickly, and it expects to close the deal shortly thereafter.

The proposed acquisition was announced in May last year, and AT&T had at the time promised to abide by the FCC's net neutrality rules that had been struck down by a federal court. The commission introduced new rules this year.

The deal reflects a wave of consolidation in the media and communications industry. Verizon Communications bought AOL in June. But some deals haven't gone through. Comcast walked away in April from a merger deal with Time Warner Cable after regulators had concerns about the plans.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuestelecommunicationCarriersat&tinternetMergers and acquisitionsDirecTV

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments