Originally published: August 16, 2012
Last updated: August 16, 2012 - 12:20pm
A rigorous review by the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice staffs revealed that the deal as proposed by Verizon Wireless and the cable company owners of SpectrumCo posed serious concerns, including in the wired and wireless broadband and video marketplaces. In response to the agencies’ objections, the parties have made a number of binding pro-competitive commitments and will also make fundamental changes to their agreements. Because of these substantial undertakings and in light of the Consent Decree the companies executed with the Justice Department today, I believe the Commission should now approve this transaction, and I will be circulating a draft order to my colleagues that would do so.
Specifically, Verizon Wireless has undertaken an unprecedented divestiture of spectrum to one of its competitors, T-Mobile, and has committed to accelerate the build-out of its new spectrum and enhance its roaming obligations. In addition, the companies’ commercial agreements will be modified to, among other things, preserve Verizon's incentives to build out FiOS, increase wireless competition, and ensure that the proposed IP venture is pro-consumer and that its products cannot be used in anti-competitive ways.
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, the transaction marks another step in our effort to promote the U.S. innovation economy and make state-of-the-art broadband available to more people in more places. The transaction will preserve incentives for deployment and spur innovation while guarding against anti-competitive conduct. And vitally, it will put approximately 20 megahertz of prime spectrum—spectrum that has gone unused for too long—quickly to work across the country, benefiting consumers and the marketplace.
I look forward to working with my colleagues toward a final Commission vote in the near future.
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- FCC Stops Clock on Verizon-SpectrumCo and Verizon-Cox
- Verizon-SpectrumCo: How Do Ya Like Me Now?
- Verizon Wireless Acquisition of SpectrumCo (cable company) Spectrum
- Critics Get Their Say on Verizon/Cable Spectrum Sale
- Pleading Cycle for Verizon Wireless Spectrum Transactions
- Verizon is selling its spectrum, but is anyone buying?
- T-Mobile fires back at Verizon on spectrum deal
- DOJ Releases Confidential Information; Verizon/Cable Deal As Bad As We Thought
- T-Mobile defends Verizon spectrum swap as way to enhance LTE network
- FCC Creates Docket for Verizon/Cable Spectrum Deal
- SpectrumCo Asks FCC to Transfer Spectrum Licenses to Verizon
- Chairman Kohl: Verizon-Cable Deals Raise 'Serious' Concerns
- FCC Won't Delay Restarting Clock on Verizon–SpectrumCo
- Verizon Competitors, Advocacy Groups Ask FCC to Stop Shot Clock on Verizon/Cable Spectrum Deal