Coalition Forms to Block Verizon/Cable deal
As Consumer Groups Argue Deal is Cartel in the Making
A coalition of consumer groups and companies -- most of which were instrumental in blocking the AT&T T-Mobile deal, have now joined forces to block Verizon's recent deal with the cable industry.
As we noted last December
, Verizon has struck a deal with Comcast, Bright House, Time Warner Cable and Cox to acquire $3.6 billion in 700 MHz spectrum and to bundle and joint market Verizon LTE wireless services. As it stands, the arrangement currently simply involves giving users who bundle Verizon services up to $200 prepaid Visa gift cards, as well as providing unified billing.
However, consumer groups fear the arrangement involves anti-competitive provisions the companies aren't making public. One major concern is that Verizon will lose all incentive to compete with cable users in DSL markets -- though the company has made it very clear they're not interested in upgrading or even keeping
those users anyway. This new group, dubbed the "Alliance for Broadband Competition," consists of T-Mobile, Public Knowledge, and RCA-The Competitive Carriers Association. From the release:
Monday marks the formal launch of the Alliance for Broadband Competition, a collection of like-minded businesses, trade associations, and public interest groups who are concerned about the ability for the current marketplace to sustain a competitive broadband landscape. Representatives from T-Mobile, RCA-The Competitive Carriers Association, and Public Knowledge, will host a kick-off event via teleconference, on Monday, May 14....
Re: I don't get this?
said by obas :I think the issue people have with this deal is that Verizon Wireless is a wireless carrier, but the majority stakeholder, Verizon, competes with the cable companies in the wire-line market; sprint no longer has any such wire-line counterpart. The fear is that this deal includes an understood agreement that Verizon will not expand FiOS to areas where this quad play package is offered.
Question: Didn't Sprint and Comcast offer a quadruple play package not to long ago?
Whose spectrum did they use for this. Is the above spectrum what was used for the quad play or was that purely sprints spectrum used?
·Time Warner Cable
What's the big deal? I could see why people were concerned about AT&T buying T-Mobile and causing massive consolidation... I don't necessarily agree with the Government blocking the merger, but what's done is done. Personally I thought it was AT&T's own fault because they basically raised rates during the approval process (for example, dumping the $10 texting plan).
However, the concerns about the VZW / Cable Industry spectrum deal are just silly. There is no network running on that spectrum, and if the cable companies aren't interested in it, they are going to just sit on it... they sure won't build a network that they don't want to build.
Who else would the spectrum even go to other than VZW or ATT? Sprint has its hands full with Network Vision, and has a massive amount of spectrum due to their partnership with Clearwire. T-Mobile got some extra spectrum from AT&T as part of the failed merger, and they don't need tons anyways since they are a smaller carrier. MetroPCS and Leap (Cricket) target a completely different market and building a nationwide network would be a huge undertaking (besides that, both are acquisition targets). It would be nice to see US Cellular expand, but I don't know if they are interested and once again it would be a huge undertaking to build the network.
VZW actually does a good job with their network. They are clearly spending money on it and are rapidly deploying LTE, so they will be able to utilize this spectrum as load on their current network increases. More spectrum = more speed and capacity. An alternative would be to build more cell sites, but that has become next to impossible in many areas due to NIMBYs and over-regulation.