Justice Department said to be holding up Verizon AWS deal over competition worries

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| July 13, 2012

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Following a report that Verizon's $3.9 billion acquisition of AWS spectrum from various cable companies is due to get the green light from the FCC, it's now rumored that the Department of Justice isn't quite as keen on the deal. Sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal claim that the Justice Department has concerns with a cross-marketing side deal in the agreement, which it views as a pact not to compete for broadband Internet customers in each other's territories that could leave many with just one option for broadband service. Justice Department officials have reportedly told the companies involved that it won't approve the deal until changes to this portion of it are altered.

This news echoes the report from earlier this week, which claimed that while the FCC is ready to approve Verizon's AWS acquisition, the Justice Department is skeptical about the marketing deals between Verizon and the cable firms. There's no word yet on what Verizon and the cable companies may do to allay the Department of Justice's concerns. However, Verizon has already said that it'll sell off some of its 700MHz spectrum and swap some AWS spectrum with T-Mobile if its acquisition is given the green light, so I'm betting that Big Red will do whatever it can to appease the Justice Department. We'll keep an eye on the goings-on with Verizon's AWS deal and give you any new details that we get hold of.

Via Phone Scoop, The Wall Street Journal