FCC looks to prevent joint airwave bids in 2015 auction

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has said it does not want joint bids from nationwide carriers in the US wireless airwave auction, which could scupper plans for a joint venture between Sprint and T-Mobile US.

The country’s third and fourth-largest players are reportedly planning to raise a joint $10 billion bid for the 2015 low-frequency airwaves auction, but the FCC has now claimed that this plan could have a negative effect on competition.

Roger Sherman, the FCC’s wireless telecommunications bureau chief said in a blog post: “If two of the largest companies are able to bid as one combined entity in the auction, their combined resources may have the effect of supressing meaningful competition.”

Present rules in place for the auction could now be revised to take account of mounting consolidation in the market to allow for more operators to gain access to much needed data.

Joint bids have been in place to allow for smaller companies to gain access to spectrum, and the commission is now seeking comment from providers on how they will tackle the low-frequency airwaves auction before it solidifies its position.

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