Verizon granted cable spectrum approval by FCC

24 August 2012 | Kavit Majithia


Verizon Wireless has finally been granted approval to acquire spectrum from US cable companies after the FCC conditionally approved the $3.6 billion deal.

The deal to acquire the spectrum was cleared by the US justice department last week, and now seemingly, Verizon has cleared its final hurdle.

The deal had been opposed by some rivalling companies and politicians because of effects to competition. The spectrum, owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse, would give Verizon additional capabilities to extend the roll-out of its 4G network.

Regulators and rivals were further concerned that Verizon and the cable companies would use cross marketing agreements to also sell each other’s services.

Verizon then took the step to agree to sell spectrum to T-Mobile USA once the deal was accepted, in a move which analysts viewed as a way of limiting opposition of rivals and subsequently gaining approval.

The FCC has imposed a number of conditions as part of the approval, including a goal for Verizon to introduce services using spectrum to offer data roaming to competitors at fair prices, which was accepted by the US telco.

“This purchase represents a milestone in the industry and we appreciate the FCC’s diligent work to review and approve the transaction,” said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless. “We will work aggressively to ensure that we put this previously unused spectrum to use quickly to benefit customers.”

Verizon has acquired nearly 20MHz of spectrum from SpectrumCo.