FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has officially come out in support of AT&T’s proposed $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, recommending that the regulatory commission approve the deal. However, in order for the deal to go through, Wheeler is asking AT&T to agree to some conditions, including stricter net neutrality requirements. From CNET:
Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler said Tuesday that he is recommending that his four fellow commissioners approve AT&T’s bid to purchase DirecTV. But in order to win his approval AT&T has had to agree to several conditions, which include not only expanding its current deployment of gigabit broadband network, but also agreeing to stricter Net neutrality requirements.
For its part, AT&T has provided the following brief statement on the pending FCC approval:
We are pleased that an order to approve our DIRECTV transaction with certain conditions is circulating at the FCC. We hope the order will be approved by the Commission quickly and we expect to close shortly thereafter.
The FCC still has to vote on the acquisition, which has been in the works since May of 2014, but with Wheeler’s recommendation, final approval looks to be promising. If approved, the massive deal would not only give AT&T access to DirecTV’s sizable customer base, but it would also open up the door to delivering television and video to a wide array of mobile devices, in addition to providing an avenue of expansion for AT&T’s current television service offerings.