After months and months of lobbying and negotiations, Verizon has received a nod of approval from the Justice Department for its $3.9 billion spectrum deal with cable providers. Sinead Carew and Jasmin Melvin of Reuters report:
The U.S. Department of Justice said on Thursday it would approve the spectrum sale, and the head of the Federal Communications Commission said the commission should also give the deal the go-ahead.
The spectrum purchase will give Verizon Wireless additional capacity to help it cope with rising demand for video on mobile devices and data services such as Web surfing.
Approval for the deal came with conditions, however:
The Justice Department said on Thursday that it wanted changes to Verizon Wireless’s commercial agreements with the cable companies under which they planned to market each other’s services and form a technology joint venture.
For example, the Justice Department said in a settlement proposal it filed that Verizon Wireless should not be allowed to market cable company products in areas where its parent, Verizon Communications Inc, sells FiOS television and Internet services that compete with those of cable providers.
The department also said that it would limit the duration of the proposed technology venture so that it would not “dampen the companies’ incentives to compete against one another.”
It also said that the companies should tweak their service resale agreement so that cable companies would be allowed to sell services from Verizon Wireless rivals after five years.