AT&T’s Bid for DirecTV Advances With Conditional Approval Order by FCC Chief

22 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AT&T Statement On FCC Circulating Order To Approve DIRECTV Acquisition.

AT&T’s proposed $48.5 billion takeover of the satellite company DirecTV is on the path to receiving a regulatory green light after Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, circulated a final order on Tuesday to approve the deal with conditions.If AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV goes through, as was widely reported Tuesday, it could be a boon for fans of USC, UCLA and other Pac-12 Conference schools.AT&T Inc. is close to wrapping up its deal to buy DirecTV as U.S. telecom and antitrust regulators signalled a green light for the $48.5-billion (U.S.) merger that would create the country’s largest pay-TV company.DALLAS, July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — We are pleased that an order to approve our DIRECTV transaction with certain conditions is circulating at the FCC.

The F.C.C. reviewed whether the deal, announced in May 2014, would serve the public interest; the Justice Department review was to determine whether it would harm competition. Pac-12 Networks – which carry hundreds of conference sporting events each season, including multiple football games most weeks – do not have a carriage deal with DirecTV, the second-largest multichannel video provider locally and nationally.

AT&T and the FCC have spent recent weeks negotiating the conditions of the deal that combines the No. 2 wireless carrier with the largest satellite-TV provider, giving DirecTV a broadband product and AT&T new avenues of growth beyond the maturing wireless service. T, -0.95% helps millions of people and businesses around the globe stay connected through leading wireless, high-speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. Under one condition, AT&T would be required to build its current high-speed fiber Internet connection to about 10 times its current size, extending the service to 12.5 million customer locations.

Given that pre-existing relationship, there’s a good chance that a merger between AT&T and DirecTV would lead to a distribution agreement between DirecTV and the Pac-12 sooner than later. “It’s a very promising development,” said sports-media consultant Lee Berke, president and CEO of LHB Sports, Entertainment & Media Inc. “For the last year or so, there’s been hope that this transaction would have potential for Pac-12 Networks and DirecTV. We’re helping people mobilize their worlds with state-of-the-art communications, entertainment services and amazing innovations like connected cars and devices for homes, offices and points in between. To prevent discrimination in the online video market, AT&T would not be allowed to exclude affiliated video services and content from data caps on its fixed broadband connections, Mr.

Once the transaction is approved and the new AT&T-DirecTV partnership is formed, the company will “have a to-do list that’s a mile long,” Berke said. Wheeler’s outlined conditions mark an end of negotiations between the company and the agency as the FCC sought to make sure that the merger serves the public interest.

Such agreements provide for a company like Netflix to pay a fee to a distributor, like Comcast or AT&T, for better service when it creates a lot of traffic for a network. Video companies Netflix Inc. and Dish Network Corp., traffic company Cogent Communications Holdings Inc. and others had pushed for limitations to AT&T’s power to slow down or charge fees for the web traffic travelling through its networks, as well as protections for rival video services. “The commitments that the proposed FCC order includes, if adopted, will provide significant benefits to millions of subscribers,” Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer said in a statement. The Trojans’ first two football games of the 2015 season – against Arkansas State on Sept. 5 and Idaho on Sept. 12 – are set to air on Pac-12 Networks. AT&T executives have promoted the deal as an opportunity to create a company that could offer customers the ability to watch television on the go across a wide variety of screens. The success of the merger in passing regulatory muster is in sharp contrast to the recently derailed rival mega-merger between cable and Internet providers Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc.

Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/att. © 2015 AT&T Intellectual Property. Two, neither AT&T nor DirecTV owns a major entertainment group, as Comcast does with NBCUniversal. “After an extensive investigation, we 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,” said William J. Netflix urged regulators to reject the transaction as it was proposed, arguing that the combined company would be able to harm online video distributors like Netflix while protecting its core TV business.

LTE not available everywhere. *Global coverage claim based on offering discounted voice and data roaming; LTE roaming; voice roaming; and world-capable smartphone and tablets in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier. Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking StatementsInformation set forth in this news release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/att-statement-on-fcc-circulating-order-to-approve-directv-acquisition-300116743.html

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