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Today Verizon announced plans to sell 39 lower 700 MHz B block licenses to AT&T. Previously, Verizon had offered to sell this spectrum in order to make its purchase of significant spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, a group of cable companies, more palatable to the FCC.
At the time Public Knowledge warned the FCC during Verizon's purchase of spectrum from several cable companies that even if Verizon sold some of its existing spectrum to offset the public interest harms of the transaction, much of that spectrum would likely be sold to AT&T instead of smaller carriers. If AT&T acquired most of spectrum being offered by Verizon, Public Knowledge cautioned, the sales would not actually benefit consumer or competition in the wireless market.
The following statement may be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President:
"If the FCC wants to see investment in competing carriers the FCC needs to deny this transaction. This proposed sale only continues the wireless market's spiral into a duopoly between AT&T and Verizon, and is obviously not in the public interest. AT&T already has swathes of spectrum and multiple pending transactions to acquire more. This acquisition would add insult to injury for smaller providers that provide a competitive alternative to AT&T and Verizon."