UPDATE 2-AT&T nears US approval of $48.5 bln DirecTV merger

22 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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

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 Federal Communications Commission has approved the acquisition of DirecTV by rival AT&T for $48.5bn, but with one especially large catch that the regulator’s chairman, Tom Wheeler, said “would directly benefit consumers”: the new mega-company has to build a network 10 times the size of AT&T’s current network of fiber optic cable. AT&T also won’t be able to exclude its own video services and content from data caps and will have to submit all interconnection agreements to the FCC itself. A spat over the latter has resulted in low speeds plaguing AT&T customers in Atlanta, according to a study of users conducted by internet activists BattlefortheNet.

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. If AT&T agrees to the terms, the FCC said the resulting network would serve 12.5 million customer locations and increase the number of Americans with “fiber-to-premise” access by more than 40%. “Importantly, we will require an independent officer to help ensure compliance with these and other proposed conditions,” Wheeler wrote in a public statement. “These strong measures will protect consumers, expand high-speed broadband availability and increase competition.” Ironically, the expense of laying new cable to reach new markets is one of the reasons for market consolidation of exactly this kind – it takes years, costs millions and reaches areas of ever-decreasing population density as the market matures and smaller and smaller areas gain access to broadband. 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. The FCC’s decision came with the Justice Department’s stamp of approval, as well (the most recent merger to come before the FCC, between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, was opposed by both agencies and ultimately rejected in April). “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 Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the DoJ’s antitrust division. “Our investigation benefitted from the division’s close and constructive working relationship with the FCC. 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.

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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