Merger of AT&T and DirecTV, now proposed, would take years to take effect

Telecommunications giant AT&T is proposing a $48.5 billion merger with satellite TV provider DirecTV. If the deal goes through, here's what customers can expect:

What changes?

• At the moment, nothing. The deal is subject to government approval in both the U.S. and Latin America. Until the transaction is approved, the companies will operate separately. AT&T and DirecTV expect to close the deal within 12 months.

What can AT&T and DirecTV customers expect?

• Customers of both companies will likely see more offers bundling DirecTV's 285 TV-channel service with AT&T wireless and Internet services. AT&T currently offers some plans that bundle DirecTV service, but customers get separate bills from the two companies.

• Within a few years, AT&T says, consumers can expect to get more DirecTV content on their mobile devices, or even streamed into cars or airplanes.

• Customers who only want broadband Internet service and get video through services like Netflix and Hulu, will be offered stand-alone broadband service at guaranteed prices for three years.

• DirecTV customers can continue getting the service on a stand-alone basis at nationwide package prices for at least three years.

• Within four years, AT&T would provide high-speed broadband to more than 15 million customers, mostly in rural areas. Customers will be able to buy broadband as a stand-alone option or as part of a bundle with other AT&T services. With that expansion, AT&T says its broadband network would reach a total of 70 million customers.

Source: AT&T, DirecTV

• AT&T says it will remain committed, for at least three years, to federal open internet protections established in 2010 despite recent court action striking down the so-called "net neutrality" provisions.

Source: AT&T, DirecTV


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