Today the FCC has approved AT&T’s $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV, which was first announced in May of 2014. This newly-combined company will have roughly 26 million subscribers in all, making it the largest pay-TV company in the United States.
The FCC only agreed to the merger as long as AT&T agreed to a few conditions, which are all laid out in the PDF file attached below. AT&T-DirecTV must continue to roll out its high-speed, fiber optic Internet service to more customers, as well as provide discounted broadband services to low-income consumers. The new firm is also prohibited from discriminating against other online video services.
Part of the FCC’s goal with this merger isn’t to harm consumers in any way, but to make high-speed Internet access more widely available across the United States. When the deal was first proposed in May, AT&T promised it would bring broadband Internet access to 15 million rural households, which is likely the main reason for the FCC approving this deal.
AT&T is currently the United States’ second largest mobile service provider, and DirecTV is the nation’s largest satellite video provider. This of course makes for a threatening combination in the Internet space, though consumers might benefit greatly from the new merger. We might see some great mobile video offerings from AT&T in the future, and DirecTV might soon offer consumers lower priced TV bundles.
If you’d like more information on this approval, I’d recommend taking a look at the FCC PDF attached at the source link below.