Verizon/Cable Deal

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.

Blog Posts

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the Verizon-Cable Pact

    August 24, 2012

    Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 5–0 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 — which signed off on the swap last week — placed conditions on the deal, it signals dark days ahead for consumers.

  • 2012 Games Highlight an Olympic-Sized Problem for Fans

    August 8, 2012
    While competition is the name of the game for the 10,000 athletes competing in the Summer Olympics, the same can’t be said for the viewing audience. In fact, the Olympics show what happens when viewers don’t have enough options at their disposal.
  • Verizon Fails the Laugh Test

    June 19, 2012

    It’s encouraging to see that some members on Capitol Hill haven’t forgotten why they’re in Washington: to serve the people who elected them — and not the companies that paid for their campaigns.

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Actions

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Press Releases

  • FCC Approves Verizon-Cable Deal; Consumers Face Dwindling Competition

    August 23, 2012
    On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 5-0 to approve Verizon’s deal to acquire spectrum from a consortium of the nation’s largest cable companies. The FCC put several conditions on its approval of the deal. The Department of Justice signed off on the deal last week.
  • Verizon-Cable Deal on the Cusp of Completion

    August 16, 2012
    WASHINGTON – On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced that it would allow Verizon’s deals to buy spectrum from a consortium of the nation's largest cable companies to move forward. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski also announced he would circulate an order approving the deal to the other four commissioners for a vote. In its consent decree, the DoJ placed limits on Verizon and SpectrumCo’s deals to cross-market each other’s services.
  • Verizon Deal with T-Mobile Deserves Careful Scrutiny

    June 25, 2012

    WASHINGTON – On Monday, Verizon and T-Mobile announced a deal to exchange specific AWS licenses in markets across the nation.

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Resources

  • Free Press Petition to Deny Verizon/T-Mobile Spectrum Swap/Sale

    Over the past decade, the U.S. wireless market has become increasingly concentrated, with the former Bell companies (AT&T and Verizon) using their legacy wireline monopoly advantages to establish and increase their market power in the wireless market. What once was a market with six national and numerous regional wireless providers has now devolved into a market with two dominant national carriers, two struggling national carriers and an ever-dwindling number of struggling regional carriers.

    July 11, 2012
  • Free Press Comments on Verizon's Proposed Acquisition of Cable Spectrum

    The Federal Communications Commission has asked for comments on the impact of the recently proposed AWS spectrum sale/swap between Verizon and T-Mobile on its review of Verizon’s proposal to acquire AWS licenses from SpectrumCo, Cox and Leap Wireless. Free Press offers these brief comments in response. In short, this latest deal does not change the fact that if the applications in this proceeding are granted, Verizon will control far more spectrum than it will need for the foreseeable future in markets serving the overwhelming majority of the U.S. population.

     

    July 11, 2012
  • Testimony Before Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights

    Written testimony of Free Press Policy Adviser Joel Kelsey before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights on March 21, 2012, regarding “The Verizon/Cable Deals: Harmless Collaboration or a Threat to Competition and Consumers?”

    March 20, 2012
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News from Around the Web

Learn More

  • Broadband

    Access to high-speed Internet service — also known as broadband — is a basic public necessity, just like water or electricity.

    Yet despite its importance, broadband access in the United States is far from universal. Millions of Americans still stand on the wrong side of the "digital divide," unable to tap into the political, economic and social resources of the Internet.

  • Cable

    Two decades ago, something unusual happened.

    Consumers were irate about their cable bills, which were increasing at nearly three times the rate of inflation. And Congress actually did something — adopting in overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion the 1992 Cable Act. The law resulted in lower cable bills, saving consumers $3 billion in just over a year’s time.

  • Cybersecurity

    Our right to private communications is a cornerstone of American democracy. But with heightened awareness in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, technological advances have continued allowing the government to expand its reach into our private lives via electronic surveillance and data-mining programs. New laws and policies introduced in the last decade have eroded our civil liberties online.

    Congress has a poor track record when it comes to cybersecurity legislation. The bills introduced so far give the government way too much power to intrude on our privacy online.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good