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AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) – DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) Proposed Deal Dangling As Free Press Files Petition With FCC To Block Merger

Boston, MA 09/22/2014 (wallstreetpr) – The AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) deal has become the new talk of the industry after failed Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS) accord. Free Press recently filed a petition with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to halt the merger of the two, quoting reduced subscription TV competition as the reason.

Violation of Anti-trust Norms

The watchdog said in its petition that the deal between AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and DIRECTV will push the prices upward because of reduced competition and that both these companies are not looking at any mitigating factor for countering the negative.

Free Press said that there is clearly the anti-trust norms violation, especially in context with the pay TV aspect. It said that at present, both AT&T and DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) are operating in line with the competition, but the merger would lead to increased pricing for the subscribers in future.

Also, Free Press said that it will not “buy” the point that merger will lead to increased broadband access. Interestingly, a few days ago, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) had courted AT&T and requested FCC to give a green signal for the deal on the basis of same claims that Free Press is denying to accept.

T-Mobile and AT&T Failed Deal Comes into the Picture

The Director of Free Press Research, S. Derek Turner says that the attempt of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) to lure FCC in the deal with “this broadband deployment candy” appears to be similar to the ones it made during failed deal with T-Mobile.

Turner said that AT&T was trying to “eliminate a competitor” from the market through the proposed merger. He added that both AT&T, as well as DIRECTV, will invest, innovate and compete more in the industry if FCC does not give a nod to the merger.

Meanwhile, around ninety other companies with former association with AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) are also calling FCC to block the merger on similar grounds of anti-competitive behavior.

Published by Duncan Oleinic

Duncan Oleinic is from New Yourk. After graduating with a degree in physics, he began his career as an analyst in a broking firm. Through this experience he was able to advance to the role of correspondent for a U.S based financial news provider, where he worked from 2001 to 2007. He subsequently joined a merchant banking firm as a financial analyst focused on valuing unlisted companies in the sub-continent. Over the course of his two years here, he performed valuations of several media companies which were later acquired by peers.

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