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DOJ unlikely to grant VZ Spectrum deal...


Sgt. Slaughter

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http://www.bgr.com/2012/07/13/verizon-spectrum-deal-doj-block/

 

...Citing unnamed sources, WSJ says that the Justice Department is concerned that the proposed deal “will hurt competition for broadband Internet service” and would be “in effect, an agreement not to compete for Internet users in each other’s territory.” The sources say the DOJ is highly unlikely to pass off on the proposed deal unless Verizon and the cable companies make significant changes that satisfy the agency’s concerns over anticompetitive behavior.

Previously, Verizon had tried to bolster its case that its spectrum deal would be pro-competitive by essentially buying out one of the deal’s former critics and agreeing to swap some of its AWS spectrum with rival T-Mobile. Under that deal, Verizon and T-Mobile would agree to swap licenses on the AWS band that spans from 1710MHz to 1755MHz for uplink and 2110MHz to 2155MHz for downlink to patch up weak spots in their LTE spectrum portfolios. For its part, T-Mobile says it “will gain spectrum covering 60 million people.”

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Yeah I don't understand why the sale of Spectrum had to include promises of collusion between these companies. If the cable co's are intent on selling the spectrum, then the price should include unrestricted rights and privileges. The sale shouldn't hinge on a buyer agreeing not to compete with the seller in the future or promising the seller a business relationship.

 

When we're talking "competition", first thing that comes to mind is places where both verizon and comcast are an ISP. But does it stop a wired connections? It just stinks to me.

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Wow...two positive marks for the Justice Dept. I cannot remember the last time that I really felt a real concern for consumers ever in the past. And this is not a Democrat or Republican comment. I cannot recall any previous Administration really standing up for consumers like this. Lets see if they continue.

 

Robert via CM9 Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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To be clear, the FCC has jurisdiction over the AWS 2100+1700 MHz spectrum portion of the VZW-SpectrumCo-Cox transaction. With the recent concessions from VZW to auction its Lower 700 MHz A/B block licenses plus sell/trade plenty of AWS spectrum to T-Mobile, the spectrum portion of the transaction has been pared down to something reasonable. And the FCC is said to be in favor of approving the spectrum license transfers.

 

That said, the DoJ has say on the antitrust concerns that arise from the cross marketing and joint operating agreement portion of the transaction. And word on the street is that the DoJ is not going to let the non compete agreements fly, since they effectively undermine the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that engendered telco and cable to compete in exchange for deregulation.

 

So, that brings us back to the spectrum transfer. SpectrumCo-Cox has said that it will not sell the AWS spectrum without the other agreements. If so, then an interesting stalemate seems to be in the offing.

 

AJ

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I agree that cable shouldn't give Verizon preferential treatment, or vice versa, as a result of this deal...or at all, really. On the other hand, I think that the spectrum sale should go through. Just add as a condition that cable companies must allow any cellular carrier to use their WiFi offloading networks at a non-discriminatory charge per subscriber (or per gigabyte, either way), and that cable companies must offer cell site backhaul on similarly non-discriminatory terms. That's what everyone is whining about, or should be if they aren't.

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So, that brings us back to the spectrum transfer. SpectrumCo-Cox has said that it will not sell the AWS spectrum without the other agreements. If so, then an interesting stalemate seems to be in the offing.

 

That is indeed interesting. Didn't know that SpectrumCo/Cox predicated the spectrum sale on the noncompete etc.

 

I mean, are they that terrified of Verizon HomeFusion?

 

Personally, VZW being the fourth part of a quadruple play by a cableco isn't a problem, even if it's Comcast in Colorado (where CenturyLink's quad-play also includes...you guessed it...VZW). Cable companies limiting access to what should be shared resources (backhaul, WiFi) on the other hand is a big issue.

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