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DirecTV Shareholders Support AT&T Merger

El Segundo, Calif. – DirecTV stockholders approved the satellite TV provider’s proposed merger with AT&T Thursday, completing one step on the way to consummation.

The merger still awaits federal regulatory approvals.

DirecTV said more than 99 percent of shareholder votes cast favored approving the merger, and represented 77 percent of all outstanding shares.

The deal faces pending regulatory procedures including “expiration of waiting periods mandated by the Hart Scott Rodino Act to permit review and appropriate action by the U.S. Department of Justice”; “review and approval by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for required transfer of licenses and other FCC authorizations”; plus “approval by certain international regulatory bodies.”

 If all of those approvals are met, DirecTV said it expects the transaction to be completed in the first half of 2015.

The merger between the two communications giants would parallel another pending merger between competitors Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which is also awaiting Federal approvals.

On Wednesday, the two cable giants blasted a number of alleged opportunists, who they said are offering their support or silence in the approval process in exchange for programming carriage, higher carriage fees, access to Comcast’s advanced advertising technology and/or discontinuation of fees for interconnection rights on broadband services.