Verizon's spectrum deal with cable companies likely to be approved, but with adjustmentsAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Verizon announced in December 2011 that it had agreed to acquire AWS spectrum from several cable companies, and since then all of the firms have been waiting for the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice to weigh in on the deals. It's now rumored that the two government agencies are nearly ready to give the agreements the green light, but some adjustments may be needed before everything is actually approved.
Three Reuters sources claim that while the FCC and DoJ are ready to approve the deal with only minor changes, the DoJ's antitrust arm has been in "bruising" talks about changes needed with the deals. Those negotiations have reportedly had a heavy focus on an agreement between Verizon and Comcast to market one another's products. The alterations may forbid Verizon from cross-marketing where it offers FiOS products, and the marketing in other regions could only occur for a limited time. The companies involved would like to see these talks wrap up this month.
This isn't the first time that we've heard that regulators may have concerns with the marketing portions of Verizon's deals with the cable companies. And while I'm sure that Verizon and the other firms involved would prefer to keep these marketing agreements in tact, they'll likely be willing to make these concessions if it means getting the deal done once and for all. After all, Verizon has already said that it'd sell off some of its 700MHz spectrum if it gains the AWS licenses included in this agreement. Two of the Reuters sources say that it's indeed possible that negotiations could indeed be completed in August, so stay tuned and we'll update you with more as we get it.