While AT&T was failing horribly at attempting to amp up its 4G network by buying T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless was busy making deals with cable companies to snap up unused and underused spectrum. And though insiders initially believed VZW’s purchases would glide across regulators’ desks since cable companies are not competitors in the wireless world, a new report claims the spectrum sale may get a more thorough looking-into than had been expected.
According to the NY Post, antitrust investigators at the Justice Department and the FCC are prepping to run Verizon through the mill as it reviews the $3.6 billion deal to buy spectrum that’s now owned by Spectrum Co., a joint venture of Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
The Post’s sources explain that the biggest question here is one of the same ones that haunted AT&T during its attempt to buy T-Mobile — that while the additional spectrum would make it easier for Verizon Wireless to make its 4G LTE service available to more customers, Verizon doesn’t actually need the additional spectrum, especially when smaller companies and new wireless technologies are scrambling for spectrum.
Verizon spectrum deal faces scrutiny [NY Post]