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Public Knowledge was one of a group of organizations and companies which yesterday asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to require Verizon and Comcast to file more details about their proposed new business arrangements.
The letter is here.
Verizon has agreed to pay $3.6 billion to several cable companies, led by Comcast, for spectrum those companies hold but have not developed. In addition, there are agreements for Verizon to market cable products and to work together to develop new technology.
According to the letter, “The applications, however, demonstrate that this spectrum transfer is part of a larger business transaction between actual and potential competitors. Without the ability to review the larger transaction in its entirety, it is impossible to assess whether there will be public interest harms associated with this proposed transfer.”
The letter noted that the “brief explanations of the several agreements indicate that major communications companies, which directly compete against one another in the provision of a variety of services to consumers and businesses, have now formed cooperative alliances that could affect, in addition to the market for mobile wireless services, the provision of multichannel video programming and broadband services, including dedicated private lines and high-speed Internet access.”
In addition to PK, others signing the letter are: C-Spire, DirecTV, NTELOS, Sprint, T-Mobile, Consumer Federation of America, Media Access Project and New America Foundation.