Gov Set to Approve Verizon-Cable Deal With Conditions
The Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice are prepared to approve Verizon Wireless's proposed acquisition of 122 AWS spectrum license from a consortium of cable companies, but only if those companies agree to major concessions. According to sources cited by Reuters, the FCC and DoJ will allow the spectrum purchase itself to proceed with minimal adjustments. However, the DoJ has grave concerns about the cross marketing agreements that are part of the proposal, especially those between Verizon and Comcast. Reuters' sources say the DoJ would force Verizon and the cable companies to modify the side deals heavily in order to gain approval. For example, the DoJ would not allow Verizon and Comcast to market one another's products in areas where Verizon offers its FiOS internet and television services. In other markets, the cross marketing agreement would only be allowed for a specific amount of time. The companies hope the proposal's review will be completed by the end of the month. Both the FCC and DoJ declined to comment on Reuters' story.
Verizon and T-Mobile Agree to $173M Spectrum Swap
Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile have agreed to exchange AWS-1 and PCS spectrum in dozens of markets around the country in a deal valued at $173 million. The spectrum in question covers portions of Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia.
DOJ Sues to Halt AT&T/Time Warner Merger
The U.S. Department of Justice has sued to stop the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner.
Charter Joins Comcast with Plans to Launch Wireless
Charter Communications followed Comcast's lead this week and also disclosed plans to offer wireless service in the future. Charter's offering will mirror that of Comcast's.
Justice Dept. Gives AT&T-Time Warner Judge a Way Out
The Justice Department, during closing arguments of its case against the AT&T-Time Warner merger, suddenly suggested the judge weigh "alternative" remedies should he choose not to block the deal. The Justice Department has fought against the merger from the start, saying AT&T would use Time Warner's content as a weapon against consumers, raising prices and limiting competition.
Justice Dept. Suggests FCC Limit AT&T, Verizon Auction Participation
Officials at the Justice Department are concerned AT&T and Verizon will dominate the upcoming 600MHz auction if more protections aren't put in place by the FCC. The agency filed a letter with the FCC this week suggesting the FCC give more weight to the concerns of companies such as Sprint and T-Mobile, which seek to limit AT&T and Verizon's participation.