FCC and DoJ Approve Verizon Spectrum Purchase
The Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Justice today announced conditional approval of Verizon Wireless's proposed acquisition of 122 AWS spectrum licenses from a consortium of cable companies. The deal, first announced last year, is valued at $3.9 billion. In order to win approval for the deal, the FCC is requiring Verizon to divest some spectrum to T-Mobile and the DoJ has put limits on the cross-marketing agreements in the proposal. "Approval of the substantially modified transaction will promote the public interest and benefit consumers in several ways ... by advancing U.S. leadership in 4G LTE deployment ... and [putting] approximately 20 megahertz of prime spectrum—spectrum that has gone unused for too long—quickly to work across the country," said FCC chair Julius Genachowski. Genachowski will recommend that fellow FCC commissions officially aprove the transaction. Department of Justice antitrust chairman Joseph Wayland added, "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." Verizon has not yet indicated when it believes the deal will close. It will use the AWS spectrum to shore up its LTE 4G network.
FCC Awards Spectrum Licenses to AWS-3 Bidders
The FCC today officially granted some winning bidders in the AWS-3 spectrum auction the licenses allowing them to take ownership of the airwaves. The AWS-3 spectrum auction concluded earlier this year, with AT&T, Dish Networks, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless the top four bidders.
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.
AT&T Says T-Mobile Opposing Spectrum Deal On Principle
T-Mobile and the Competitive Carrier Association are asking the FCC to deny AT&T's proposed acquisition of 700 MHz B Block licenses from Club 42. AT&T first filed its request with the FCC last year and now says T-Mobile and the CCA are trying to sink the deal for no good reason.
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.
T-Mobile and Verizon Agree to Another Spectrum Swap
T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have petitioned the FCC for permission to swap AWS and PCS spectrum licenses in 92 counties and/or 41 Cellular Market Areas around the country. The companies propose to switch spectrum licenses, but not cellular assets or customers.
So Much For Consumer Advocacy.
Verizon was very sneaky and the FCC/DoJ fell short of insight.
Everyone hold on to their wallets.
I thought I read an article the other day about this spectrum and cable t.v. I could have misinterpreted that article though.