Washington Post, Engadget

Why AT&T Appears Ready to Agree to a Plan It Has Called ‘a Tragic Step in the Wrong Direction’

Jun 3, 2015  •  Post A Comment

AT&T is determined to obtain approval for its acquisition of DirecTV — so much so that it is prepared to go along with the FCC’s proposed Net neutrality rules, The Washington Post reports.

Approval of the $49 billion purchase by federal regulators is expected in a few weeks, the report notes, and AT&T is poised to make concessions in an attempt to “seal the deal.” The concessions, the report notes, are aimed at easing concerns that consumers could be adversely impacted by the merger.

Engadget notes that “AT&T previously called the FCC’s new net neutrality rules ‘a tragic step in the wrong direction’ and even filed a lawsuit to block them.” The Engadget report calls the current AT&T position “a big reversal from before, when it specifically said it would not tie any net neutrality promises to the merger.”

Engadget adds that the new stance “contrasts sharply with Comcast, which vowed it would walk away from its (now-moot) TWC merger before bending on net neutrality.”

Citing sources who are familiar with the negotiations, The Post reports that if AT&T does agree to comply with the new regulations, “it would be committing to at least three things. It would honor the FCC’s ban on the slowing of Web sites, as well as a ban on blocking Web sites. It would also comply with a ban against taking payments from Web site operators to speed up their content, a practice known as paid prioritization.'”

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