In the event the $48 billion AT&T-DirecTV deal closes, the new joint company is promising to uphold the current net neutrality rules for at least three years. This promise would be valid regardless of how the FCC vote on the issue goes later this year.
In their proposal for the DirecTV purchase, AT&T issued a list of commitments, which they are calling "benefits of the transaction." One of these "benefits" is the following:
Net Neutrality Commitment. Continued commitment for three years after closing to the FCC's Open Internet protections established in 2010, irrespective of whether the FCC re-establishes such protections for other industry participants following the DC Circuit Court of Appeals vacating those rules.
In the event the FCC's paid prioritization proposal passes, AT&T won't actually participate in the potentially multi-million dollar scheme (if they keep their promise, that is.) This is also a major show of good faith to the FCC, which will have to approve the merger.
In 2011, Comcast pulled a similar move. When aiming to buy NBC Universal, Comcast agreed to hold up the same 2010 FCC rule AT&T refers to.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.