The Federal Communications Commission has voted to approve Verizon’s purchase of a valuable slice of the public airwaves in exchange for a partnership with a cartel of cable companies. While both the FCC and the Department of Justice placed conditions on the deal, this decision signals dark days ahead for consumers.
Where there was once a glimmer of hope for competition between cable and phone companies, Verizon and the cable companies are now dividing up the market. Where once Verizon’s super-fast FiOS service was going head to head with Comcast XFinity, we now have former rivals signing up their own customers for their competitors. Consumers would be far better off if this unholy union had never been proposed.
The good news is that the FCC and the DoJ agreed with many of the concerns raised by Free Press and its allies. But while those agencies attempted to address some of the worst of the consumer harms created by this transaction, more needs to be done. It's time for Congress and the FCC to confront these monopolies head on.