A DirecTV dish is seen outside a home in the Queens borough of New York
A DirecTV dish is seen outside a home in the Queens borough of New York Reuters

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has cleared AT&T's $48.5bn (£31.2bn, €44.6bn) deal to buy DirecTV, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

At least three of the five FCC commissioners voted in favour of the deal with conditions, sources told the news agency.

The FCC is expected to announce its decision to the public on 24 July. The regulator's approval was the final hurdle before AT&T for the merger, which would create the second-largest wireless carrier and the largest satellite-TV provider in the US.

The US Justice Department approved the deal on 21 July.

The FCC's nod for the deal comes after its negotiations with AT&T in recent weeks, imposing certain conditions on the wireless carrier for the deal to go ahead.

The FCC wants AT&T to expand its fibre-optic broadband service. In addition, the company will have to build out high-speed internet connections to 12.5 million customer locations and share with the FCC all traffic exchange agreements to be entered with other companies.

In May 2014, AT&T agreed to acquire satellite TV provider DirecTV in a deal creating a strong player in the combined mobile, video and broadband sector. The deal is supported by the boards of both companies.

The deal is in line with AT&T's ambitions to grow its businesses in the US, after regulators thwarted its attempt to acquire smaller rival T-Mobile in 2011.

DirecTV has about 20 million subscribers in the US, and the deal would create a clear market leader in the cable TV market.

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