AT&T is negotiating with the FCC in hopes of winning approval for its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, offering to accept some “net neutrality” rules which it initially opposed. So says The Washington Post. But AT&T already has disclosed a willingness to compromise in seeking legal relief.

Meanwhile, N.C. Congresswoman Renee Ellmers keeps pushing legislation to force more openness at the FCC.

Back on May 14, AT&T (NYSE: T) and other partners stated in a filing seeking relief from the FCC-mandated Internet regulation by a partisan 3-2 vote (Democrats for, Republicans against) in February that they would accept some net neutrality rules.

The Post report, citing unnamed sources, says AT&T is offering compromises in the hopes of getting the FCC to approve the DirecTV deal. Approval could come in the next few weeks.

Ellmers vs. FCC

Ellmers, a Republican from N.C.’s Second District, and a good number of other Congressmen were upset by the FCC’s February action. As critics noted then, the FCC Internet regulation rules weren’t even publicly disclosed at the time of the vote.

On Wednesday, an amendment written by Ellmers calling for the FCC to published “approved rules” within 24 hours was adopted by the House Energy & Commerce Committee in House bill 2589.

“I’m pleased to see my amendment included in the FCC Process Reform Act that passed out of the Energy & Commerce Committee today and know it will play a critical role in shedding light on a commission that tends to operate from behind closed doors,” Ellmers said in a statement.

“My amendment will enhance transparency throughout the FCC’s decision-making process, as it requires them to publish new rules on the same day that they have been adopted.”

Republicans on the FCC warned that the net neutrality rules should have been made available to the public before the vote. The regulations were published weeks later, triggering several lawsuits.

AT&T isn’t giving up entirely on the Internet regulation debate even as the DirecTV talks with the FCC continue. Just two weeks ago at a technology conference, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson predicted that “these will not be the rules of the land.”

In its report, The Post noted:

“In a few weeks, federal regulators are likely to approve AT&T’s $49 billion purchase of DirecTV. To seal the deal, AT&T is expected to make several promises to soothe concerns that the acquisition could hurt consumers.”

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