Verizon Likes Spectrum Ownership Caps...For Sprint
Urges FCC to Apply Spectrum Screen to Sprint Deals
Both AT&T and Verizon have historically fought against capping the amount of spectrum any one company can own, both companies trotting out the spectrum capacity crisis myth when it's convenient
. But with Sprint potentially acquiring a spectrum treasure trove with their acquisition of Clearwire, Verizon is busy nudging the FCC to act. Verizon wants the FCC to apply its "spectrum screen" to the deal, potentially limiting how much spectrum Sprint could acquire.
From Fierce Wireless
In a filing with the FCC, Verizon argued the FCC should evaluate Clearwire's spectrum in the same way as spectrum in other bands. Sprint has argued that Clearwire's spectrum is above 2 GHz and so the FCC's spectrum screen--which is aimed at capping the amount of spectrum a single carrier can devote to mobile broadband--should not be applied to its purchase of Clearwire. But Verizon pointed out Clearwire is already using the spectrum, dubbed BRS/EBS, for mobile broadband.
The move comes on the heels of similar efforts to cap Sprint's spectrum ownership by AT&T. Verizon and AT&T don't want a more powerful Sprint in the market, but they also don't want any divested spectrum hitting the market that could help new entrants, either. The most desired outcome for Verizon and AT&T -- is for that spectrum to be forced into the lap of either Verizon or duopoly BFF AT&T as part of imposed merger conditions.