Consumer Groups, Wireless Competitors: SpectrumCo. Purchase Part of Larger Transactions
Originally published: January 19, 2012
Last updated: January 19, 2012 - 10:13pm
Consumer groups and wireless competitors have told the Federal Communications Commission that it needs to look beyond Verizon's planned purchase of spectrum from cable operators to a series of related deals and relationships among them.
In a letter to the FCC on Verizon's application to assume the wireless spectrum licenses of SpectrumCo. and Cox, Public Knowledge, Sprint, T-Mobile, and others said that deal is part of a larger transaction between "actual and potential competitors." "Without the ability to review the larger transaction in its entirety, it is impossible to assess whether there will be public interest harms associated with the proposed transfer," they said. The groups pointed to the applications' assertions that SpectrumCo owners -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House -- have entered into "several agreements, providing for the sale of various products and services," including the ability to sell Verizon Wireless service on a wholesale basis, which would mean branding it as part of a cable quadruple-play bundle. They also point to Verizon and the cable companies' creation of a joint venture to develop technology to integrate wireless and wireline service.
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