DIRECTV shareholders overwhelmingly approve AT&T merger
Michelle Clancy
| 26 September 2014
DIRECTV stockholders have voted overwhelmingly to approve the satellite giant's proposed $48.5 billion acquisition by AT&T.

The final voting results indicate more than 99% of votes cast were in favor of the adoption of the merger agreement, representing 77% of all outstanding shares. The proposed merger remains subject to regulatory review by the US Department of Justice and the FCC, including the expiration of waiting periods mandated by the Hart Scott Rodino Act.

AT&T has about 5.7 million U-verse video customers in 22 states. DIRECTV on the other hand has about 20 million customers nationwide and is the second-largest pay-TV provider behind Comcast. If the merger goes through, DirecTV as a company will act as a subsidiary rather than be merged into AT&T itself, thus keeping its customer relationships intact.

The deal adds to the consolidation frenzy that's shaping up in the industry. The merger gambit comes as Comcast attempts to win approval to buy No 2. cable MSO Time Warner Cable for about $45 billion. Conventional wisdom holds that if the Department of Justice and other regulators say yes to Comcast then it will be forced to also say yes to AT&T.

If both deals go through, it will mean that two companies, Comcast and AT&T, control about two-thirds of the pay-TV market. If approved, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015.