NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AT&T's(T) - Get Report proposed $48.5 billion deal to buy DirecTV (DTV) is advancing as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has recommended that his colleagues vote to approve the merger.
Wheeler said an order has been circulated to the commissioners recommending that the deal be approved with conditions that would benefit consumers by bringing more competition to the broadband marketplace.
"If the conditions are approved by my colleagues, 12.5 million customer locations will have access to a competitive high-speed fiber connection," Wheeler said in a statement. "This additional build-out is about 10 times the size of AT&T's current fiber-to-the-premise deployment, increases the entire nation's residential fiber build by more than 40 percent, and more than triples the number of metropolitan areas AT&T has announced plans to serve."
Wheeler said the conditions will build upon the open Internet order that is in effect, addressing two issues in particular.
"First, in order to prevent discrimination against online video competition, AT&T will not be permitted to exclude affiliated video services and content from data caps on its fixed broadband connections," he said. "Second, in order to bring greater transparency to interconnection practices, the company will be required to submit all completed interconnection agreements to the Commission, along with regular reports on network performance."
He added that the commission would require an independent officer designated to ensuring the conditions are complied with.
On Tuesday, the antitrust division of the U.S. Justice Department said its investigation found that a deal between the two companies does not pose a significant risk to competition. The deal would ultimately create the largest pay-TV company in the U.S.