White, Stephenson Pitch Merger to Rosenworcel

In town to testify before House and Senate Judiciary subcommittees about their proposed merger, AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson and DirecTV chairman Michael White stopped by the FCC Wednesday to pitch the meld.

According to FCC documents they met with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and her legal advisor to stress the public interest benefits of the deal and the pledges they made.

Those include extending broadband to 15 million more customers through fixed wireless and fiber buildouts, offering video/broadband bundles in a wider area, offering standalone broadband and video and committing to abide by the FCC's vacated network neutrality rules for three years (it would automatically be subject to new rules if the FCC passes them).

White and Stephenson pitched the value of bundling, but also said they will remain incentivized to offer stand-alone to those who don't want them. They said that choice means, in the areas where DirecTV and AT&T's U-Verse video services overlap [about 25% of the country], there will be an "enhancement," not a reduction, in competitive offerings.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.