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Tech Group: AT&T’s DirecTV Deal Would Improve Internet Access

An AT&T deal would help get more Americans online, says a prominent tech lobbying group.

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Tech industry lobbying group TechNet praised AT&T’s $48 billion deal to acquire DirecTV Thursday, telling federal regulators that they should consider how it would help get more Americans online.

“TechNet encourages the FCC to consider the positive impact that AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV would have on universal broadband deployment and the very real benefits it will produce for millions of underserved Americans,” the industry group wrote in a letter to Federal Communications Commission officials Thursday.

Not a huge surprise that TechNet would say nice things about the deal, given that AT&T is a member company. It is interesting, however, that TechNet hasn’t said similarly nice things yet about Comcast’s $45 billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable, even though Comcast* is also a TechNet member.

A Comcast spokeswoman didn’t comment, although the company noted that it is only a state-level member of TechNet. AT&T is a national member.

Generally, AT&T’s DirecTV acquisition has drawn less concern so far from public interest groups and rivals than Comcast’s Time Warner Cable deal. That could be because DirecTV doesn’t offer broadband access so the combination wouldn’t give AT&T more control over broadband access than it might otherwise already have.

* Comcast owns NBCUniversal, which is a minority investor in Revere Digital, Re/code’s parent company.

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