Senate to consider AT&T-DirecTV merger

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed $49 billion merger of AT&T and DirecTV later this month, the panel announced on Thursday.

The Antitrust subcommittee’s session will be held on the same day that the House Judiciary Committee holds its hearing, on June 24. The House panel will go first with a hearing in the morning, followed hours later by lawmakers in the Senate.

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The twin hearings will likely feature some skepticism from lawmakers worried that the trend of mergers among major media companies will lead to higher prices and worse service for their constituents. In addition to the AT&T-DirecTV deal, Comcast is also trying to purchase Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, a proposal that drew some ire in recent congressional hearings.

In paperwork filed with the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday, AT&T and DirecTV told regulators that the merger would be good for subscribers and was necessary to keep up with the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

“This transaction will unite two companies with uniquely complementary assets to create a strong, national competitor that delivers consumers an unparalleled combination of broadband, video and wireless services,” AT&T wrote.