CWA asks FCC to stop clock on Verizon spectrum buy


VerizonCommunications Workers of America says that there is already ample evidence that the deal under which Verizon will acquire spectrum from a consortium of cable companies is anticompetitive. It now says that Verizon and its deal partners are obstructing review, and for that reason the 180-day clock needs to be halted.

The parties cited by CWA include Verizon Wireless, Comcast, Time Warner, Bright House Networks, and Cox.

The union says that they are “…obstructing review of the deal by delaying the delivery of documents, providing documents with large segments redacted, delivering materials in unreadable file formats, hiding data behind various proprietary file formats, and burying relevant information in—literally—hundreds of thousands of documents.”

“Verizon Wireless and Big Cable are trying to keep their deal wrapped in secrecy behind closed doors,” said Debbie Goldman, Telecommunications Policy Director, CWA.  “What we know from already-public information is that this deal is anti-competitive.  The FCC should ‘stop the clock’ on its review and insist on a full public review of this proposed deal.”

CWA is concerned about relationships between the buyer and sellers that will be maintained after the deal is consummated, including marketing agreements and a joint technology venture, not to mention the fact that it combines the resources of already huge companies.

Goldman concluded, “This proposed deal gives giant telecommunications companies overwhelming market power, increasing corporate profits at the expense of consumers, jobs and local communities. Consumers and workers need competition and jobs, not collusion through a secret deal struck behind closed doors.”