Back in December, we learned that Verizon had agreed to drop a total of $3.9 billion on spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications. It seems that there are a few other carriers that are not terribly pleased about the potential transaction, though. Today it's been revealed that T-Mobile would like the FCC to prevent the deal from happening. In a filing with the FCC, T-Mobile has said that if the purchase is allowed to happen, it would give Verizon an "excessive concentration" of spectrum.
T-Mobile's not the only entity that's unhappy with Verizon's plans, as MetroPCS and the Rural Telecommunications Group have also expressed their concerns about the deal. The RTG says that it's filed two petitions with the FCC asking that the agency stop Verizon's purchase and investigate the cable companies and Verizon for possible anticompetitive agreements. The group goes on to accuse Verizon of violating the Communications Act of 1934 and the Sherman Antitrust Act. Here's a statement from RTG General Counsel Carri Bennet on the matter:
“In the absence of any near term FCC spectrum auctions, Verizon Wireless is systematically attempting to corner the market for commercial mobile wireless spectrum while simultaneously stripping existing and potential competitors of all their spectrum holdings. This practice is anticompetitive and a violation of antitrust law and should result in the FCC’s denial of all of the applications filed by Verizon Wireless.”
We've already heard that the Verizon's purchase of all of this spectrum has caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice, but now the agreement also has all of these other groups to worry about as well. Verizon has yet to respond to the situation. It should be interesting to see how the carrier reacts to the claims of T-Mobile and the RTG, though, and you can bet that we'll pass along more information as we get it. Stay tuned!