Report: Regulators unlikely to block AT&T deal

Regulators are unlikely to block the proposed merger of AT&T and DirecTV, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. 

The Journal reported the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice are close to finishing their review but a final call could still be a few weeks away. The report noted that conditions could be imposed on the deal. 

{mosads}The FCC is on day 170 of its informal 180-day shot-clock for the merger, but it has been on pause since mid-March. 

The $48 billion proposed merger would make AT&T the largest provider of U.S. cable or satellite service and would make it one of the largest Internet service providers as well.

The report comes a few weeks after regulators raised concerns about the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable fell apart amid concerns from regulators. The FCC and the Department of Justice had feared the deal would harm online video competition. 

Since September, Netflix has raised concerns about about how the AT&T deal could harm competition and has called on regulators to impose conditions, including prohibiting the company from charging for interconnection deals.

But Netflix, which lobbied hard against the Comcast merger, is not opposing the AT&T deal. 

AT&T has argued it would have no economic incentive to slow Netflix’s service and said the interconnection deals with Netflix has allowed the streaming service to “continue to thrive.” AT&T has also noted that the merger would bring super-fast Internet speeds to more customers and expand service in rural and underserved areas. 

Tags AT&T Department of Justice DirecTV Federal Communications Commission

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