Folks at AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) after a court ruling opened a path for the company’s proposal and intention to acquire DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV).
The good news came to the company after an appeal by the Federal Communications Commission was thrown out by the presiding federal judge. The Commission had suggested that TV programmers should open up their contracts so that third parties could have access. AT &T was not happy with the suggestion especially because it acted as an obstacle that delayed the review process or the acquisition.
The nature of the case made many companies jump behind AT&T in support. Some of the supporters included CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) and Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB). Part of the reason for these companies going against the decision of the Federal Communications Commission is the fact that they could also be affected by such a deal. It was, however, a good way for them to show support for companies within the same industry.
The argument by the FCC was that third parties should be given a chance to view the contracts entered into with pay TV service providers as well as making comments about the deals. However, numerous media houses aired out their concerns about their competitors getting their hands on vital secrets about their dealings. They in turn argued that the FCC would deny them opportunities to protect themselves and the deals that they enter into.
The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeal decided on the matter, saying that it shares the same thoughts with the petitioners. The court’s decision thus placed a lot of pressure on the communications commission, giving it a short duration to come to terms.
The proposed merger by AT&T has fewer concerns compared to that of Comcast and TWC. However proposed acquisition has received a lot of scrutinies and a watchful eye from the Commission and the Justice Department. The informal 180 days review period provided by the FCC was put on hold since March in anticipation of the Court’s verdict on the FCC proposal.
If the FCC had been granted their request, the merger would probably take longer to shape up.
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