DirecTV shareholders give thumbs up for AT&T merger

AT&T (NYSE: T) cleared a large hurdle in its quest to purchase DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) as the satellite TV provider's shareholders have given the green light for the proposed deal.

DirecTV said that the votes represented 77 percent of all outstanding shares, with 99 percent of votes cast in favor approving the acquisition.

The acquisition gained Department of Justice approval in August.  

Although the acquisition still requires FCC and other federal regulatory approvals, it is set to close in the first half of 2015.

In May, AT&T announced it would purchase DirecTV in a $49 billion deal that will make the telco a powerful force in the pay-TV market.

AT&T's proposed acquisition of DirecTV is the largest deal it made since acquiring the former BellSouth in 2006 for $85 billion.

One of the interesting concessions made to get regulatory approval of the DirecTV was a promise to extend fiber to the home (FTTH) services to more locations in its wireline footprint.

In a regulatory filing, AT&T said that completing the DirecTV deal would enable it to upgrade 2 million homes to the fiber-based Gigapower broadband service, while expanding broadband coverage overall to 13 million locations.

For more:
- WSJ has this article (sub. req.)

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