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AT&T, DirecTV Assure FCC They Will Promote OVD

AT&T has clearly gotten the message that access to over-the-top video competition is a key issue for the FCC in its review of the proposed merger with DirecTV.

In a meeting with FCC officials about the deal, most of a dozen executives from both companies told the commission that they had "strong incentives" to support online video services, both as stand-alone and bundled.

They also shared some confidential info on various peering, managed service and OVD distribution deals it has done, and said it is pursuing others that will "ensure consumers will be able to enjoy seamless and high-quality OVD services."

The FCC has yet to restart its unofficial shot clock on the deal, likely as the FCC review team tries to ensure that will be the case if the deal is approved.

Even as AT&T was making that case, Cogent was telling the commission that the company was contesting interconnection ports and there needed to be strong interconnection conditions on the deal. Netflix has also been arguing that AT&T had used its interconnection control to degrade access to Netflix, and threw in data caps and usage-absed pricing as other ways to advantage its own services.

THe FCC has yet to restart the transaction clock on the deal. AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson had asked FCC Chairman Wheeler to start the clock as soon as court issues with third-party contracts were resolved. That case was decided last month, but the clock remains stuck on day 170, with 180 the target, though that it a guideline, not a deadline.