wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost

The Post Most: Business

DJIA
0.11%
S&P 500
0.33%
NASDAQ
0.63%
 Last Update: 12:27 PM 04/24/2014

World Markets from      

 

Other Market Data from      

 

Key Rates from      

 

Blog Contributors

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

Post Tech
About / Where's Post I.T.?   |    Twitter  |   On Facebook  |  RSS RSS Feed  |  E-Mail Cecilia
Posted at 10:03 PM ET, 07/12/2012

DOJ holds up Verizon-cable deal on competition concerns

The Justice Department is holding up approval of Verizon Wireless’ $3.9 billion bid for spectrum from cable firms because of concerns that a cross-marketing deal attached to the deal will thwart competition for landline Internet service, according to people familiar with the review.

Justice’s concern is that Verizon’s agreement to jointly market wireless and landline Internet services with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House and Cox could lead to the deterioration of Verizon Communicatin’s FiOs Internet service, which competes with cable offerings.

Verizon Communications and Vodafone jointly own Verizon Wireless.

Justice officials have expressed concern that by cross-marketing Verizon Wireless and cable services, FiOs business will be neglected and decline. FiOs is available to 14 million homes in the United States, and U.S. regulators see it as an important competitor to cable and satellite Internet service.

If that happens, consumers will be left with one or two providers of landline broadband service in many markets, analysts and critics say.

Justice’s concerns may force concessions by Verizon and cable firms on the marketing portion of their agreement, analysts say.

Verizon Wireless and cable firms have won favor from the Federal Communications Commission for the spectrum purchase after agreeing to sell off a swath of airwaves to T-Mobile USA, the nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier, according to people familiar with the review. But the FCC is closely coordinating with Justice and supports any decision it may make on the marketing portion of the deal, according to one person familiar with the agency’s thinking.

Verizon Wireless has said it is confident its deal will be approved later this summer and the FCC’s informal timeline to finish its review is in August.

Dozens of lawmakers this week expressed concern that the deal will create too much concentration in the wireless industry, where Verizon Wireless, the nation’s biggest carrier, will only advance its lead.

“Over the past six months we have addressed these issues, made a persuasive case that bringing unused spectrum to the marketplace to serve millions of consumers is strongly in the public interest, and we believe we are on track for approval later this summer,” Verizon spokesman Ed McFadden wrote in a e-mailed statement.

Related:

DOJ investigating cable firm limit to online video competition

By  |  10:03 PM ET, 07/12/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company