AT&T, Inc.'s (T) $85.5 billion blockbuster acquisition of media giant Time Warner Inc. (TWX) sent shockwaves throughout market, sending media investors scrambling to wonder who's next. 

Although there's speculation about whether president-elect Donald Trump could seek to block the deal, Federal regulators may take their time to review the possible unfair advantages AT&T would gain over competitors like Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Dish Network Corp. (DISH). (See also: AT&T CFO Says He Can Work With Trump.)

Several AT&T competitors have already complained about the company's tactics that exempt its own video services from affecting its users' data plans. AT&T allows customers to watch video on DirecTV apps on their AT&T cell phones without eating into monthly data allotments. And the company is expected to do the same with an upcoming TV streaming service called DirecTV Now, for which it will charge $35 per month.

That's a massive advantage given that AT&T now owns DirecTV. In a letter to AT&T dated Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that the practice of exempting its users from data caps may ultimately hurt consumers. The FCC asked that AT&T reply to its concerns by Nov. 21. 

On Thursday, AT&T said that the practice actually helps consumers, rather than hurt them, since they gain from watching video without using up their data. Any video provider can pay AT&T, "at [the company's] lowest wholesale rates," to let customers watch without using up their AT&T data, said AT&T executive Bob Quinn in an emailed statement, according to the Associated Press. (See also: Can AT&T Fund Its $85.5B Time Warner Purchase?)

However, if AT&T also takes over Time Warner's video assets, it would give AT&T a level of strength to dictate not only data-plan pricing on the mobile side of the business, but it could also re-introduce debates over net neutrality. What's more, the deal now casts a shadow over the broader mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market. And how the deal unfolds may dictate M&A policies under this new administration.

Time Warner shares closed Thursday at $86.33, down 0.31%, while AT&T shares closed at $36.57, down 2.32%

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