Franken calls for investigation of Verizon deal

John Moe Feb 2, 2012

There are some non-Facebook things going on in the world as well. Including Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) calling for the Obama administration to investigate transactions that some feel could make Verizon into America’s default wireless provider. We’ve talked about this on the show before. Verizon spent billions of dollars in December buying up spectrum from cable TV providers in a deal that will have a couple of pretty big effects. One, Verizon will have more space on the spectrum to build out its signal and network, making it much more powerful than AT&T and gargantuan compared to Sprint and T-Mobile. That advantage would be insurmountable for any new carrier wanting to get in the game. Two, it would mean the cable companies could never be wireless carriers even though they are perhaps the best positioned entities to get in the market and provide customers an alternative to the mega-entity of Verizon. As long as a Comcast had spectrum, it could in theory get in there. But not any more if that deal is approved.
So that’s why Franken wants more light shone on this. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), who heads the Senate Antitrust Committee says he will hold hearings on the matter.

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