Verizon cable deal under scrutiny in Washington today

John Moe Mar 21, 2012

We’ve been telling you about the Verizon spectrum deal with cable companies for a while now. Frankly, not a lot of other news outlets are talking about it all that much but we happen to believe that it’s hugely important. Verizon is planning to buy up tons of broadcast spectrum license from cable television providers for billions of dollars. That deal would also involve Verizon and the cable companies marketing each other’s services. The meaning of that would be that the cable companies wouldn’t be able to ever enter the wireless market, meaning there would be less potential consumer choice in wireless. It would also mean Verizon would be at an enormous advantage in terms of spectrum while competing against rival providers.

But the deal hasn’t been approved yet and today it goes before a Senate subcommittee.

The Washington Post reports that there is growing opposition to the deal:

“The cutthroat competitive environment that pushes innovation forward and forces companies to continually invest in rolling out better products and services is born from companies doing everything they can to steal away their competitors’ customers, not by offering to sign up your own customers for rivals’ services,” Joel Kelsey, policy adviser at public interest group Free Press, said in his written testimony ahead of the hearing.

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