Verizon's acquisition of AWS spectrum from cable companies reportedly near FCC approvalAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Back in December 2011, Verizon made some deals with various cable companies that would see the carrier acquiring AWS spectrum licenses in exchange for around $3.9 billion. The spectrum transfer has been the subject of quite a bit of debate since then, but according to Reuters, the Federal Communications Commission is ready to give Verizon the green light. The publication cites two sources who claim that the FCC plans to approve the acquisition. It's not quite a done deal yet, though, as one of the tipsters claims that the Justice Department has some concerns with the agreement. The DOJ is skeptical about Verizon's marketing deals with the cable companies, which it fears could lead to higher Internet prices, and that the entity consisting of Verizon and the cable firms that's meant to help develop new technologies could end up just keeping that tech for itself.
So far Verizon has done quite a bit to try and help get its AWS acquisition approved. The big red carrier has said that it'll hold a sale of its 700MHz spectrum if the deal is okayed, and it's also reached an agreement with T-Mobile that'll see Verizon swap some of the spectrum gained from these cable company deals in exchange for other AWS spectrum and some cash. Of course, both the sale and the T-Mobile deal will only occur if Verizon's acquisition of the cable companies' spectrum is approved by the FCC and DOJ. While it sounds like the FCC is ready to give its stamp of approval, and while a DOJ spokesperson said that the agency is reviewing Verizon's deal but wouldn't go into further detail, a decision isn't expected until August. Looks like Verizon still has a bit longer to wait before it can uncork its AWS champagne.