AT&T acquires DirecTV

Within hours of Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  approval,  AT&T completed its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV. The transaction had been under regulatory review for more than a year. AT&T is now the largest pay-TV provider in the world with more than 26 million customers in the United States and almost 20 million abroad.

As part of the merger approval, the FCC imposed conditions on the new company. AT&T has committed to increase its all-fiber deployment of 12.5 million customer locations, to offer gigabit service to any E-rate eligible school within the company’s deployment, to “refrain from imposing discriminatory usage-based allowances,” and to make available a low-priced broadband service for low-income consumers in its wireline footprint.


In his statement recommending the transaction, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler explained that AT&T’s commitment to build its fiber network will benefit consumers:

The... order outlines a number of conditions that will directly benefit consumers by bringing more competition to the broadband marketplace... 12.5 million customer locations will have access to a competitive high-speed fiber connection. 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.

The Communications Workers of America supports the deal. The merged company will be a strong competitor in the video and broadband markets to dominant cable companies. Moreover, the company will have responsible labor relations, as AT&T respects the collective bargaining process, a policy that will extend to DirecTV’s non-management workforce.

FCC Grants Approval of AT&T-DirecTV Transaction (FCC, July 24, 2015)

Statement of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on Recommendation Concerning AT&T/DirecTV Transaction (FCC, July 21, 2015)

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