Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

FCC Majority Said to Vote to Approve AT&T’s Purchase of DirecTV

AT&T Inc. was on the verge of winning final regulatory clearance for its purchase of DirecTV after securing backing Thursday from a majority at the Federal Communications Commission.

Both Republican commissioners assented to the $48.5 billion purchase, following a recommendation for approval by Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler, said a person with knowledge of voting being conducted electronically at the five-member commission. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter hasn’t been made public.

The votes become final once published by the FCC, which hasn’t said when that will happen.

Earlier the Justice Department said it wouldn’t challenge the deal because the transaction doesn’t pose a risk to competition.

Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said in a statement he had cast a vote, without providing more details. O’Rielly and Commissioner Ajit Pai both voted for the merger, said the person.

AT&T expects approval “any time,” Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said Thursday in an earnings call.

Reuters earlier reported the FCC vote.

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