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AT&T, DirecTV boards agree to merger deal

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AT&TIn the U.S., the combined companies will be able to expand AT&T’s broadband service to 15 million customer locations, “mostly in rural areas where AT&T does not provide high-speed broadband service today,” within four years of the deal being approved by regulators, the companies said.

For at least three years after they merge, AT&T and DirecTV will continue to offer their broadband and television services, respectively, as stand-alone products.

AT&T also committed to following the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, which kept Internet providers from blocking or slowing access to certain websites until they were struck down by a federal court earlier this year.

For three years after the deal closes, AT&T will continue to follow those rules, regardless of what happens to the agency’s recently launched attempt to rewrite the rules.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that the companies were in talks earlier this month, and BuzzFeed reported Saturday that the talks could culminate at the boards’ meetings Sunday.

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