AT&T, DirecTV extend merger end date … again

AT&T (NYSE: T) and DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) have announced another short-term extension of their merger agreement, as the two companies enter the 14th month since they first forged their $49 billion deal.

This latest extension--which followed a previous one rendered in May--buys the companies more time, as AT&T and the Justice Department continue to haggle over stipulations relating to broadband services. 

According to a report released Friday citing unnamed Beltway sources, regulatory closure of the deal could finally occur within "days."

Analysts at New Street Research said they expect the deal to close sometime in July, likely after the 4th of July holiday. "It is possible that the FCC could approve the transaction by the end of the week of July 6th, but that does not appear the most likely outcome at this point. Rather we think the odds favor the week of the 13th or 20th," the analysts wrote.

AT&T and Justice Department officials have reportedly been in broad agreement on the wireless giant's adherence to FCC net neutrality rules as a contingency for the merger. Details, however, have continued to be haggled over. 

For more:
- read this SEC filing
- read this Reuters story

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