FCC Expected to OK Deal With ConditionsAlso expected to propose disallowing Verizon to sell Comcast video services where it currently has built out its FiOS service 8/13/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern
At press time, Verizon/SpectrumCo watchers
were looking for the FCC to circulate an order
on Verizon’s proposed purchase of wireless
spectrum from major cable operators.
The FCC is expected to OK the deal with conditions,
most likely related to the associated crossmarketing
agreements that allow Verizon and
Comcast to sell each other’s services, as well as
possible spectrum spinoffs in concentrated markets.
The commission is also expected to propose
disallowing Verizon to sell Comcast video services
where it currently has built out its FiOS service.
The deal is not a merger, so it has that going for
it in terms of FCC approval. In addition, it frees up
4G wireless spectrum for almost immediate use,
creating the sort of secondary market deal that
will get the spectrum into use far more quickly
than, say, the years-long process of freeing it up
from broadcasters. Comcast, Time Warner Cable,
Cox and Bright House bought the spectrum at an
FCC auction in 2006, but they concluded there
was not a business case for building out a competing
wireless broadband network.
It also helps that Verizon is spinning off some
cable spectrum to T-Mobile, reducing the number
of markets where its concentration of spectrum
holdings would raise red flags with the FCC.