Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks reached an agreement in December to sell wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless for $3.6 billion. As part of the deal, the cable companies and Verizon Wireless also said they would jointly market quad-bundles of services — wireless phone and data, wireline phone, high-speed Internet, and TV.
Critics said the deal amounted to a business truce between the cable companies and Verizon Communications, which owns a majority interest in Verizon Wireless. Verizon Communications would no longer have the incentive to compete with the cable companies for Internet and TV subscribers, they say.
Comcast and Verizon officials said the deals would not diminish competition. The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department are reviewing the deals for antitrust concerns and potential public benefits.
As consumers drop their landline phone services, the CWA has viewed FiOS as saving jobs for its members. Verizon's union workers have been working under the terms of a contract that expired about a year ago, with the company and the union unable to reach new terms.
"At a time of high unemployment, the FCC and the [Justice Department] need to be sure that they condition this transaction so that it benefits consumers and does not result in job losses," Debbie Goldman, the union's telecommunication policy director, said Tuesday.
Verizon Communications spokesman Rich Young said, "Over the past six months, Verizon has addressed in numerous, detailed filings at the FCC the recycled points made in this latest filing, and we are confident that we have made a persuasive case that bringing unused spectrum to the marketplace to meet the needs of millions of consumers is strongly in the public interest. We expect the review and approval process to close later this summer."
Contact Bob Fernandez at 215-854-5897 or email@example.com.