As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, the FCC is gearing up to approve AT&T's $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV. Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler confirmed that he is set to call a vote on the matter with the FCC's other four commissioners. According to Wheeler, the proposal will "directly benefit customers" by increasing competition in the broadband marketplace. Most importantly, the FCC's approval comes with strings: AT&T will not be permitted to exclude affiliated video services and content from data caps on its fixed broadband connections, and it must submit all interconnection reports to the FCC, as well as reports on network performance. If the deal passes their vote, it will be clear to close. The deal will transform AT&T into the nation's largest pay television provider as well as its second largest telecom, combining AT&T's U-verse and DirecTV's satellite offerings.
Update: The Justice Department also announced tonight that it "will not challenge" AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV, clearing the path for it to go through once the commission votes. For AT&T's part, it says "We hope the order will be approved by the Commission quickly and we expect to close shortly thereafter."