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FCC meets with AT&T and DirecTV as merger nears approval

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Top executives from AT&T and DirecTV met with FCC officials at the agency's headquarters in Washington yesterday, according to CNN. The meeting comes as a big merger between the two is said to be nearing completion and a stamp of approval from regulators.

During yesterday's exchange, the FCC and AT&T / DirecTV reportedly went over conditions that the combined company will have to honor for the transaction to go through. One of those is abiding by the FCC's new net neutrality framework, something AT&T is apparently willing to do — even as it sues the commission over those very rules. Other than that, CNN says that regulators don't intend to stick AT&T with "onerous" or inconvenient terms.

It's been over a year since AT&T and DirecTV first announced their plan to join up, and although the deal has seen a very lengthy review process, it has avoided the fierce scrutiny and overwhelmingly negative public feedback that proved too much for Comcast's Time Warner Cable takeover to overcome. Comparatively, AT&T and DirecTV have had an easy go of it so far.

This deal also sets important precedent for the rumored merger between Dish and T-Mobile US. Fundamentally it'd be a very similar situation that would end up pairing a phone company with a satellite company that's always wanted to be something more. Seeing the government sign off on AT&T and DirecTV's merger should give Dish plenty of confidence to officially launch its pursuit of John Legere's T-Mobile.