As expected, Verizon’s $3.9 billion acquisition of cable company spectrum has been given the go ahead by both the Department of Justice and the FCC. The final hurdle is still on the horizon, however, as the carrier will need to offload some of its own wireless spectrum in exchange; Verizon previously conducted a sale of its 700MHz A and B spectrum in preparation of the deal going through and, following that, the carrier made a deal with T-Mobile which involved a spectrum swap and cash payment.
Immediately following the news, Mark Cooper, Director of Research at the Consumer Federation of America, mused what the deal means.
“The proposed joint venture between Verizon and the major cable companies demonstrates that the primary pillar on which the Telecommunications Act of 1996 stood — intrmodal and intermodal competition between broadband platforms — has collapsed in a short 16 years,” Cooper said. “These transactions make it overwhelmingly clear that it is time for policymakers to accept the challenge of ensuring that we have the greatest competition possible on the remaining monopolistic broadband platform and work to create as much of the competitive ecosystem the 1996 Act hoped for as we can.”
The deal restricts Verizon “to limit the scope of [its] co-marketing and resale agreements,” CNET said. Stipulations aside, the acquisition will likely be a huge boon to Verizon’s 4G network, as it continues its quick spread across the U.S.