Web

Despite Comcast’s failure, AT&T’s $48.5 billion merger with DirecTV is looking good

directv now november launch date at amp t lawsuit
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Justice Department evidently saw enough legal entanglements (and consumer descent) to foil Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, but officials at both agencies are of a different opinion when it comes to the other massive communications merger on the table. The Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T’s proposed $48.5 billion merger with satellite television provider DirecTV seems likely to win federal approval.

DirecTV LLC Big Time Savings

Central to regulators’ consideration are the markets AT&T occupies. While the absorption of Time Warner Cable’s assets by Comcast would’ve seen the expansion of Internet, cable TV, and content covering ground across the country, and leaning towards a monopoly, FCC staff observe that DirecTV offers no such potential for AT&T. The play here is a merging of regional pay-TV with satellite, a proposition which the government finds much more palatable.

Separately, the Justice Department “has yet to raise any significant issues.” WSJ sources say AT&T is unlikely to face significant resistance, but might be asked to make concessions around the handling of streaming video services.

AT&T, for its part, is confident the deal will go through. The communications giant told investors during its first quarter earnings report that it expected approval of the acquisition by the end of May. If approved, the merger would consolidate 26 million pay-TV subscribers under one roof. The two companies would also be able to create new cross-platform bundles as incentive to keep subscribers, including the possibility of bundling mobile phone service with Internet and satellite TV. It would also allow expansion of those services into several new territories.

The FCC hasn’t met with AT&T to hash out exact terms, a step sources say is necessary before the issue is sent to commissioners for a vote, but the sentiment within the agency is that the AT&T deal will actually increase competition and “[aid] the spread of broadband into rural areas that lack service.” Furthermore, the commission’s staff is reportedly “inclined to recommend the approval of the deal” if AT&T agrees to uphold the pledges it made ahead of its proposal last year, which included expanding high-speed broadband to millions of customers in rural communities and committing to certain net-neutrality policies.

This isn’t AT&T’s first attempt at an acquisition valued in the tens of billions. The company’s proposed buyout of T-Mobile was derailed when the Justice Department moved to block the merger in court, citing concerns about the “fewer choices and lower quality” that might result.

AT&T’s move to acquire DirecTV may have been spurred by Comcast’s plans, but the mega corp is also hoping Charter’s rumored bid for Time Warner Cable might further assuage regulators. According to the Journal, Charter is “laying the groundwork for a potential bid.” TWC rejected the company’s initial bid, a $61.3 billion buyout offer last year.

Mobile

Verizon’s 5G is blazing fast on the Galaxy S10 5G, if you’re on the right block

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is finally here, and we went to Chicago to test its 5G connectivity capabilities on Verizon's 5G network. Like with the Moto Z3 and Moto Mod, service is still limited, but it's super fast.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in June 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. June 2019 brings the second season of Big Little Lies and the arrival of musical drama A Star Is Born to HBO
Home Theater

What is YouTube TV? Here’s everything you should know about the TV service

YouTube TV is becoming an increasingly major competitor to other streaming services. Not sure if the service might be right for you? Don’t worry, we have a guide detailing everything you could want to know about the service.
Gaming

It just doesn’t matter how fast the PlayStation 5 will be

Sony showed off a brief demo of the PlayStation 5's beefy new solid-state drive during a recent investor call. It was impressive, but it's not enough to outrun Google's Stadia. PlayStation has other strengths, however.
Mobile

FCC chairman and commissioner support the T-Mobile and Sprint merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Mobile

5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.
Business

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

May may be coming to an end, but the bonanza of tech jobs just keeps coming. High paying jobs abound at companies where people love to work. If you’re not satisfied with your current situation or are ready to make a change, this is a…
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Movies & TV

Tired of Netflix? Here's where to find free movies online, legally

We've spent countless hours digging around the web to find the best sites for streaming free movies online. Not only are all of these sites completely free to use, they're also completely legal and trustworthy.
Social Media

A fond farewell to Grumpy Cat, the internet’s most famous feline

We say farewell and fondly remember Grumpy Cat, the internet's famous frowning feline and a genuine sweetheart, who died at the age of seven. Even tempered and tolerant, Grumpy Cat was in real life the opposite of her online persona.
Web

Gmail logs your purchase history, undermining Google’s commitment to privacy

Google has tried to portray itself as privacy-focused. But a new report shows Google tracks many of your online purchases, even if they are bought from a non-Google affiliated store like Amazon.
Computing

Whether you want to edit, sign, or append, PDFs, these are the best PDF editors

While there are plenty of PDF editor options online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Web

Creators of WhatsApp attack software face lawsuit from Amnesty International

This week a spyware attack was launched on WhatsApp. Now the Israeli firm linked to that attack is facing a lawsuit from human rights NGO Amnesty International, alleging their software has been used to surveil human rights defenders.