Thursday, October 4, 2012
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Richard Brunell, FTC, advocates that Verizon’s Deals with Cable Companies Raise Significant Competitive Issues.
ABSTRACT: In December 2011, Verizon Wireless, the country’s largest wireless provider, announced agreements with some of the country’s largest cable operators — Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., Cox Communications, and Bright House Networks — to acquire the AWS-band wireless spectrum licenses that the cable companies had acquired at auction in 2006. The transactions would result in Verizon Wireless acquiring either 20 or 30 megahertz of spectrum in local markets covering approximately 94% of the U.S. population. According to the smaller national wireless carriers, the “transactions will . . . eliminate from the market one of the two remaining large available bands of quality spectrum, which other carriers could rapidly deploy to broaden coverage and enhance competition,” and “the only sizable allocated but unused block of spectrum that would be suitable for 4G deployment.”