Cable Technology Feature Article
Verizon Wireless, Cable Company Consortium May Soon Get Major Spectrum Deal Approved by Regulators
By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor
It appears that Verizon (News - Alert) Wireless and the major cable companies that make up SpectrumCo have jumped a final hurdle to gain approval from regulators on a spectrum deal.
The two sides agreed to scale back a marketing arrangement related to the wireless spectrum deal, reports said.
Under the terms of the agreement, a joint marketing agreement will be limited to five years and the agreement will prevent Verizon and cable operators from reselling each other's services in markets where broadband, TV and phone service compete.
Approval for the $3.9 billion deal is expected within a few weeks from the Department of Justice and FCC, The Journal added.
The cable consortium includes Comcast, Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable and Bright House Communications.
In December, the two sides came up with the deal where Verizon Wireless would purchase some 20 megahertz of advanced wireless spectrum the cable companies purchased in an earlier FCC auction. The two sides also said they wanted to approve a co-marketing deal where cable companies would resell Verizon's wireless phone, broadband, home phone and television service, according to the December announcement. In addition, Verizon would resell cable TV, phone, and broadband services in Verizon Wireless (News - Alert) stores. Under the agreement announced in December, Verizon Wireless would also pay Comcast Corp $2.3 billion; Time Warner Cable will receive $1.1 billion; and Bright House Networks will receive $189 million, according to TMCnet.
However, some rival companies, consumer groups and unions were opposed to the deal.
But Verizon later came up with another deal where T-Mobile (News - Alert) would purchase some of Verizon's spectrum, CNET reported. As a result, T-Mobile now supports the Verizon and SpectrumCo deal.
The FCC seems content with the concessions made by Verizon, too.
Among the issues of concern for the Department of Justice were antitrust laws and possible restraint of trade, TMCnet said.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman