Shareholders of DirecTV have approved the company’s acquisition by AT&T for $48.5 billion, DirecTV said on Thursday.
The $48.5 billion deal, currently under review by U.S. and international regulators, was approved by 99 percent of votes cast. The votes cast represent 77 percent of shares outstanding. The transaction was announced in May, 2014.
DirecTV announced the voting results at a shareholder meeting in New York. DirecTV chief executive officer Mike White told investors there that he still expects the deal to close in early April. White also said that there have been no discussions yet about his role after the deal closes.
If the deal is approved by regulators, the company expects it to close in the first half of 2015.
The takeover by AT&T, which is also considering to buy America Movil assets in Mexico, hinges on the completion of a deal with the National Football League for rights to the popular Sunday Ticket package, which gives subscribers access to live Sunday games on multimedia platforms, including iPads and game consoles.
Bloomberg reported that a group of state attorneys general decided to probe whether the takeover violates antitrust laws, adding to the work they were already doing with the Justice Department on a review of Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner Cable.
DirecTV said in a statement: “The proposed merger is subject to regulatory review and approval including expiration of waiting periods mandated by the Hart Scott Rodino Act to permit review and appropriate action by the U.S. Department of Justice and review and approval by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for required transfer of licenses and other FCC authorizations, as well as approval by certain international regulatory bodies.”