FCC Nears Verizon/SpectrumCo OKAccording to sources, the commission is close to approving Verizon’s purchase of wireless spectrum from four big cable operators 7/16/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern
According to sources inside and outside the FCC,
the commission is close to approving Verizon’s
$3.9 billion purchase of wireless spectrum from
four big cable operators (SpectrumCo)—with
one caveat. The Justice Department is still eyeing
associated marketing agreements, and final approval
likely won’t come unless the operators and
Verizon consent to modify or drop those deals.
If they do, approval would likely come in August.
The FCC still has to vet comments it solicited
after Verizon said it would trade some spectrum
it acquired from Comcast, Time Warner Cable,
Cox and Bright House with T-Mobile. That trade
would make the SpectrumCo deal even more FCCfriendly
by reducing the number of markets where
Verizon would have concentrations of spectrum
above an informal FCC cap to only a handful.
Deal opponents were weighing in last week,
including Democratic legislators and Free Press.
But if the cable operators and Verizon are willing to
compromise on the marketing agreements—they
declined to comment on that prospect—the deal
will likely be done by mid-August, which would
beat the FCC’s informal 180-day shot clock.