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The FCC announced today the approval of the “transfer of control of licenses and authorizations” from broadcast satellite service provider DirecTV to veteran telecommunications company AT&T.
“The approval will allow AT&T to acquire DirecTV and merge the two companies into one combined entity. An Order detailing the Commission’s reasoning and the conditions will be issued shortly,” says the FCC via a press release. “The Commission’s decision is based on a careful, thorough review of the record, which includes extensive economic analysis and documentary data from the applicants, as well as comments from interested parties.”
AT&T has also informed it has completed the acquisition of DirecTV, becoming the largest pay-TV provider in the United States with 26 million customers, and worldwide with more than 191 million customers in Latin America specifically.
However, the FCC established certain conditions AT&T-DirecTV must follow for the next four years:
- Expansion of high-speed, fiber optic broadband net access to 12.5 million clients, and gigabit service to E-rate eligible schools and libraries where the new AT&T-DirecTV offers FTTP service.
- Prohibition of discriminatory practices to services that distribute online video. The FCC may monitor this new company to make sure AT&T-DirecTV completes this condition.
- Discount of broadband services to low-income subscribers.
“Combining DIRECTV with AT&T is all about giving customers more choices for great video entertainment integrated with mobile and high-speed Internet service,” stated Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “We’ll now be able to meet consumers’ future entertainment preferences, whether they want traditional TV service with premier programming, their favorite content on a mobile device, or video streamed over the Internet to any screen.”