Step aside, Verizon and AOL.
If AT&T succeeds in its $49 billion dollar bid to acquire DirecTV, the match will be the year's biggest media deal—an order of magnitude larger than the $4.4 billion Verizon agreed to shell out for AOL earlier this year. Even in the parallel universe where Comcast's botched $45 billion Time Warner Cable takeover was a triumph, this deal is still bigger.
What's more: the match—originally proposed in May 2014—seems very likely to go through. The deal is all but inked, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources.
Regulators from the Federal Communications Commissions are apparently in the midst of wrapping up their review of AT&T's potential purchase. The company already has clearance from the Department of Justice. All that's left is for the FCC's five commissioners, including chairman Tom Wheeler, to formally submit their approval.
As Journal reporter Thomas Gryta notes:
The transaction will make AT&T the nation’s largest pay television provider in addition to the second biggest wireless carrier at a time when companies are trying to figure out how best to handle the massive shifts among media companies as video consumption moves online. The combination will pair AT&T’s regional U-verse pay TV business with DirecTV’s satellite operation, which is nationwide but lacks a robust broad band offering.
Previously, AT&T lost $4 billion and failed to win approval for an attempted T-Mobile takeover in 2011. This time round? Apparently things are going much more smoothly.