AT&T-DirecTV deal nears closure, still A-OK with regulators

Performing yet another heat check on the smooth-sailing AT&T-DirecTV merger proposal, the Wall Street Journal reports that regulator closure is just weeks away and that the FCC and the Justice Department still have no major issues with it.

According to the paper, DOJ officials have expressed no problems with the deal and have no plans to block it. The Federal Communications Commission, meanwhile, is set to recommend to the agency's five-member voting commission that they approve the deal, with conditions that are palatable to AT&T.

The paper cites "people who are familiar" with the regulatory process.

The deal is just days away from its one-year anniversary, with AT&T (NYSE: T) making its initial announcement on May 17, 2014.

To entice regulators, AT&T has professed that it will work to further take broadband access into rural areas. But the wireless giant hasn't otherwise had to work too hard to convince the FCC and DOJ of the deal's competitive merits.

Contrasting the recently collapsed Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, AT&T is buying an asset with no broadband-services portfolio in DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV)--the deal is looked at by regulators as actually enhancing broadband competition, not harming it.

Opposition to the deal, meanwhile, is comparatively minimal. Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) chimed in recently, suggesting to the FCC that conditions be imposed on the two parties relating to online video. But the SVOD service didn't formally oppose the merger.

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal story

Related links:
Appeals court clears way for AT&T-DirecTV review, throws out FCC order on program contracts
DirecTV CEO: We have 1M subscribers on our skinny bundle
DirecTV adds 60K U.S. subs in Q1 as revenue spikes 4% to $8.14B

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