FCC Grants Approval of AT&T-DirecTV Deal With Conditions

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DirecTV Tops Profit Estimates as More Customers Sign Up

A DIRECTV technician installs a new satellite TV dish at an apartment building in Lynwood, California, U.S., on Monday, May 5, 2014.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

AT&T Inc. won permission Friday to buy satellite-TV provider DirecTV after promising to spread broadband to more homes and businesses.

The $48.5 billion merger creating the largest U.S. pay-TV provider was approved by the Federal Communications Commission, according to a news release from the agency. Earlier the Justice Department said it wouldn’t challenge the deal because the transaction doesn’t pose a risk to competition.

AT&T will be required to extend high-speed, fiber optic broadband Internet access service to 12.5 million homes and businesses, the FCC said.

In addition, AT&T is prohibited from discriminating against rival online video services, and will offer broadband to low-income consumers at discounted rates, the agency said.

The purchase adds 33 million TV subscribers, including 12.5 million in Latin America, to largest U.S. telephone company AT&T. The Dallas-based company will have 26 million U.S. video customers. Cable leader Comcast Corp. has 22 million video subscribers.

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