**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest communications mergers in Q2 2014.**
DirecTV shareholders on Thursday overwhelmingly approved AT&T’s pending acquisition of the satellite TV company four months after the $48.5 billion merger was announced.
More than 99 percent of votes cast approved the acquisition, El Segundo, California-based DirecTV said, comprising 77 percent of all outstanding shares.
The merger will make Dallas-based AT&T (5.9 million U-verse TV subscribers as of the second quarter) a stronger competitor in the video market, enabling it to offer across the nation TV packages with broadband and wireless.
In May, AT&T announced the agreement to acquire DirecTV for $28.50 per share in cash and $66.50 per share in AT&T stock, valuing the equity portion of the acquisition at $48.5 billion. Thanks to the deal, DirecTV shareholders will have reaped a 185 percent return since Jan. 1, 2010, according to an AT&T investor presentation. After the merger is completed, DirecTV shareholders will own between 14.5 percent and 15.8 percent of AT&T shares, AT&T said in a news release.
The merger is still subject to reviews by the U.S. Justice Department, Federal Communications Commission and international regulatory bodies. Federal regulators also are reviewing the pending merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the two largest U.S. cable companies.
AT&T has expressed confidence that regulators will approve its acquisition of DirecTV, which serves 20.2 million U.S. customers and boasts a strong presence in Latin America with around 18 million subscribers. DirecTV said Thursday it anticipates the merger will close in the first half of 2015.