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DOJ Signs Off on New Spectrum Deal for Verizon, T-Mobile and Cable Companies
It looks like Verizon was able to jump through enough hoops to convince the Department of Justice to okay their broad spectrum deal with the cable companies. Previously shared with you guys that Verizon was working toward buying additional spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications. T-Mobile was also involved because to facilitate the deal, Verizon needed to agree to swap spectrum with them. The deal was held up by the FCC and the Department of Justice over concerns that the cross-marketing agreements between Verizon and the Cable companies would be anti-competitive and stifle competition for landline Internet service. Here's a quote with some additional details on the deal,
Verizon’s FiOS service competes directly with cable companies involved in the agreements, including Comcast and Time Warner, and Verizon worried that the cross-promotion would eventually eliminate FiOS from the picture.
Among the requirements to let the deals move forward, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications must dial down the scope and length of their marketing agreements. The rules prohibit cross-marketing in communities also served by FiOS exists — mainly in the mid-Atlantic — and impose a four-year limit on the deals is areas where FiOS is absent.
The Justice Department also approved Verizon’s proposed spectrum sale to T-Mobile, and Verizon must announce a public process to sell other previously unused spectrum.
“By limiting the scope and duration of the commercial agreements among Verizon and the cable companies while at the same time allowing Verizon and T-Mobile to proceed with their spectrum acquisitions, the department has provided the right remedy for competition and consumers,” said Joseph Wayland, acting assistant attorney general for Justice’s antitrust division.
08-17-2012 09:57 AM