AT&T announces $48 billion takeover of DirecTV

An announcement about a $48 billion takeover of DirecTV has been made by AT&T three months after Comcast made announcement about its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable last year.

Michael White of DirecTV, left, and Randall Stephenson of AT&T, center provided evidence about merger plans on Capitol Hill. According to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Netflix was requesting regulators to reject the AT&T-DirecTV transaction because it is currently proposed.

According to the company, a combined AT&T and DirecTV would have the capability and incentive to use its heft to harm online video distributors such as Netflix in order to protect its core TV business. According to Netflix, already AT&T had degraded customers' access to Netflix.

As per a Netflix filing, concerns are also there about the potential that AT&T would emerge as the largest Internet service provider of the country after its projected investments in broadband. "Such market power creates new incentives and abilities to harm entities that AT&T perceives as competitive threats, and will exacerbate the anticompetitive behavior in which AT&T has already engaged", said Netflix in the filing.

AT&T counts 16.1 million subscribers to its Internet service. Later, a Netflix spokeswoman said that the company did not go up against the deal outright but was participating in the government review and asking regulators to consider appropriate remedies.

Federal regulators are poring through over 7.5 million pages of documents hundreds of white papers and testimony by company executives in order to assess whether the AT&T-DirecTV deal will affect competition or serve the public interest. Both AT&T and DirecTV said that they are sure that the deal will close by the end of June.