DirecTV Shareholders Approve $48.5 Billion Sale to AT&T

DirecTV shareholders approved the $48.5 billion sale of the company to AT&T Inc. today, with investors representing about 77 percent of the shares voting in favor of the deal.

DirecTV announced the voting results at a shareholder meeting in New York, and Chief Executive Officer Mike White told investors there that he still expects the deal to close in early April. White also said that there have been no discussions yet about his role after the deal closes.

In a statement, DirecTV said that 99 percent of the votes cast were in favor of the combination.

The transaction, which was announced in May, is still under review by the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. The deal would combine the nation’s largest satellite-TV company with AT&T’s existing packages of wireless, phone and high-speed Internet service.

A group of state attorneys general recently decided to probe whether the takeover violates antitrust laws, adding to the work they were already doing with the Justice Department on a review of Comcast Corp.’s purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc.

White reiterated that he expects to reach a deal by the end of the year with the National Football League over rights to air the Sunday Ticket package -- an important milestone as the AT&T transaction is contingent on that contract being extended.