AT&T’s nearly $49 billion purchase of DirecTV is on its way to approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which would make it the largest cable or satellite provider.
Opponents such as Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood say the merger would reduce the number of competitive providers from four to three companies for nearly a quarter of the country. The Department of Justice, however, doesn’t think the merger threatens competition in the market and has approved the deal.
Approval by the FCC’s four commissioners is still pending, but chairman Tom Wheeler has given the conglomerate the green light. In the U.S., AT&T provides cable service to 6 million households and DirecTV’s service reaches more than 20 million households.
What does this mean for its users? How does this merger compare with Comcast and Time Warner’s deal? Will other companies follow?
With Files from the Associated Press
Craig Aaron, President and CEO, Free Press - a nonpartisan organization advocating for universal and affordable internet access and diverse media ownership
Steve Effros, President of Effros Communications, a cable industry consultancy based in Virginia. Former president of Cable Telecommunications Association, an industry trade association.