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

AT&T Required To Extend Broadband Internet Access to 12.5 Million Homes and Businesses

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AT&T 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.

~Bloomberg News~

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