DirecTV's shareholders vote overwhelmingly for the AT&T merger [telecom]

by Brian Fung

The vote wasn't much of a surprise, but investors in DirecTV have now made their position official: They can't wait for regulators to approve an AT&T buyout.

Over 99 percent of voting shareholders said Thursday that they'd be in favor of a merger, according to DirecTV. The $49 billion deal would combine one of the nation's largest satellite TV providers with one of the country's biggest telecom companies. It still has to be given the green light by the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission, but few analysts expect much opposition. To further sweeten the deal, AT&T has offered to expand broadband service to more U.S. households and to abide by the FCC's old net neutrality rules (which were tossed out this year by a federal court) for three years.

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*--------------------------------------------------------------------* I wonder: is this all about rights-of-way? Local governments, feeling the pinch of voters who question every budget item, are increasingly demanding that ILEC's, CLEC's, and other old-world players ante up when they go beyond their "POTS" mandates.

Satellites don't need any rights-of-way.


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Bill Horne
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