Telephone giant AT&T now is the world's largest pay-TV provider after completing its $49-billion takeover of satellite service DirecTV.
The Federal Communications Commission voted Friday to approve the merger. The panel's blessing came one year after AT&T petitioned for government approval — a long slog, but one that lacked the public rancor that doomed another proposed merger: Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
In approving the AT&T-DirecTV deal, FCC commissioners signaled they were not necessarily opposed to media consolidation.
Instead, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and his colleagues viewed AT&T's deal as a vehicle to tackle one of their highest...