The just-consummated merger between AT&T and DirecTV has created the largest pay-TV operator in the U.S. with around 28 million subscribers. But Evercore ISI doesn't believe that scale will enable the combined company to overcome endemic pay-TV problems.
AT&T said it has officially closed on its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV following FCC approval of the transaction. The news brings to a close a review process that lasted over a year.
AT&T's proposed $49 billion purchase of DirecTV has cleared its final hurdle, according to Reuters, which reported that at least three of the FCC's five commissioners have voted to approve the deal.
It looks as though unlikely allies have their limits. Earlier this month, a diverse coalition of broadcasters and unlicensed spectrum advocates rallied to get the FCC to reject a staff recommendation on a "duplex gap" plan related to next year's incentive auction. Now the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), while saying it still prefers the compromise worked out more than a year ago, is suggesting another compromise--one that unlicensed spectrum advocates are not so keen on.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recommended that the five-member agency approve AT&T's $49 billion purchase of DirecTV, clearing the penultimate regulatory hurdle for the deal, first proposed in May 2014, to finally be approved.
The FCC is set to announce that it has signed off on AT&T's $49 billion purchase of DirecTV, ending a 14-month regulatory process.
Charter Communications has gained a powerful ally in its bid to acquire both Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks: In a new filing with the FCC, Netflix agreed to support Charter's purchase of TWC and Bright House in exchange for free usage of Charter's network through 2018.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and three of his fellow progressive Senators have written the FCC, asking the agency to investigate what they term the "ridiculous" price of cable TV and broadband fees.
Former Rep. Henry Waxman, now a lobbyist for T-Mobile US, wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that the agency should strike a compromise on when to trigger the bidding for reserved spectrum in the broadcast incentive auction and on a proposal to relocate TV stations in the duplex gap after the auction.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has set forth an agenda that the commission plans to discuss at its August 6 open meeting designed to protect both businesses and consumers as ILECs migrate more of their networks from copper to fiber and to IP.