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Phone companies win TV franchise battle in Texas

The bill, which would streamline the process for phone companies entering the TV market, now goes to Gov. Rick Perry.

Texas lawmakers have approved a measure that would make it easier for phone companies to offer television service. The bill will streamline the process for phone companies entering the TV market by granting them a statewide franchise. Historically, new entrants have been required to negotiate individual franchise agreements with each city and town in the state.

The Texas Senate approved the bill during a special session Tuesday, and the House of Representatives followed with its vote about 12 hours later. The bill will now go to Gov. Rick Perry for his consideration. Texas is one of several states that have considered the issue, which has pitted cable and phone companies against each other in a bitter battle.