AT&T-DirecTV merger approval expected any day

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 30 June 2015

The $49 billion AT&T-DirecTV merger could receive final regulatory approval any day now.

According to reports based on anonymous sources, the deal will be closed within the next two weeks.

"It is possible that the FCC could approve the transaction by the end of the week of 6th July, but that does not appear the most likely outcome at this point. Rather we think the odds favour the week of the 13th or 20th," analysts at New Street Research wrote in a note.

AT&T has said that it's ready to make net neutrality concessions in order to seal the deal. Along with offering standalone IPTV broadband plans that might encourage cord-cutting, AT&T said that it would honour a ban on blocking and throttling websites, as well as agree to refrain from paid prioritisation of traffic for websites willing to pay for that.

Naysayers would like AT&T to agree to abide by the commitments for several years, and are asking for low-cost broadband-only plans to be part of the mix, ideally at 25Mbps for $30 per month. AT&T countered with a pledge for 6Mbps for $35 per month. Also at issue are interconnection fees and concerns over who's paying for heavy traffic from the likes of Netflix.