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FCC Launches Review of AT&T/DirecTV

The FCC has started the clock on its vetting of the proposed AT&T/DirecTV merger.

The commission has been collecting data from the companies to make sure staffers have enough info to do their due diligence on the deal, as well as to determine how to redact sensitive information.

When that is done, the commission sets comment deadlines and starts its informal 180-day shot clock on reviewing the merger, though it is not bound by it.

The docket number is 14-90. Initial comments are due Sept. 16, responses and petitions to deny the deal are due Oct. 16, and final comments are due Nov. 5.

AT&T officially filed its proposed DirecTV merger with the FCC June 11, including public interest statements.

AT&T announced in May that it had agreed to acquire satellite operator DirecTV in a $48.5 billion deal creating the second-largest pay-TV operator.

In its public interest statements, AT&T said that the main reason for the meld was that they could achieve together what they could not separately: "A compelling bundle of video and broadband services" that neither company could offer individually.