T-Mobile requests FCC to block Verizon-cable dealings

T-Mobile USA is urging authorities to block deals between Verizon Wireless and cable companies for spectrum.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

According to the Associated Press, T-Mobile USA is urging regulators to stop the purchase of spectrum from cable companies for $3.9 billion by Verizon.

In a late filing on Tuesday, the communications company stated that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should prevent deals currently being negotiated between Verizon Wireless, Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., Bright House Networks and a separate $315 million deal with Cox Communications.

T-Mobile views the deals as a means of placing an "excessive concentration" of wireless spectrum in Verizon's control, which has the potential to limit competition and shift the resource to select companies.

Others have also filed motions against the deal ahead of a filing deadline on Wednesday, currently totaling nine 'public interest' groups. Last week a state agency that advocates for consumers also asked the FCC to block the deal, citing the same reason as T-Mobile.

A Verizon spokesman, Ed McFadden, said in a prepared statement that the deals are "clearly in the public interest" and inherently supports FCC goals for utilizing spectrum. Verizon defended its position by citing that unused spectrum will be more freely available to the pubic through the dealings.

With more access to wireless spectrum, a company can increase download speeds and cater for heavy-data usage devices, including smartphones and tablet users. Verizon Wireless already possesses a large quantity of spectrum, whereas T-Mobile does not.

The parties in question hope to complete the deals by the end of the year, and T-Mobile is the first major competitor to join the campaign to block it.

Under the deals, Verizon Wireless and the cable companies will be marketing each other's services in their retail outlets.

Image credit: CNet


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