It is now game on for cable providers. FCC has approved AT&T’s $49 billion merger with DirecTV, which now puts Comcast in the hot seat…or does it? While the AT&T/DirecTV merger has several FCC imposed conditions, there are several questions that are still raised about this deal.
Friday confirms one of the biggest acquisitions of 2015; a multi-billion dollar merger between AT&T and DirecTV. This now merges AT&T broadband and wireless services with DirecTV’s TV services to create one big powerhouse, which could leave its biggest competitor in the dust; Comcast. AT&T finally gets access to DirecTV’s exclusive deals with the NFL and other cable channels which helped DirecTV stand out from the competition across the US. Because of this, more content can be delivered to mobile devices, something Comcast is currently trying to do.
Closing this deal seemed too easy for the giant. (Comcast wish it had the same ability) It came shortly after the FCC approved the merger. Besides, the DoJ (Department of Justice) wasn’t stopping the merger at all. Even though red flags were raised about AT&T purchasing DirecTV, concerns weren’t strong enough due to AT&T being a cell carrier and DirecTV being a cable company. However, that doesn’t stop the company from abiding by strict FCC rules.
To allow the merger to go through, AT&T has agreed to stricter Net neutrality rules. This means that the company has to ensure that all internet traffic flow is the same, leaving throttling in the past. As a result, AT&T will be pushing out its gigabit service to more customers by making it more widely available (We just don’t know how wide it will be).
AT&T is looking to diversify its business. Earlier this year, the company bought out a Mexican wireless company for $2.5 billion called Lusacell. Nextel Mexico, a mobile operator was also bought for nearly $2 billion. If AT&T keeps this up, they could potentially pass Comcast as the top cable provider in no time.