T-Mobile is asking the Federal Communication Commission to block Verizon’s planned $3.6 billion acquisition of spectrum from cable companies because it says the move would lead to an “excessive concentration” of wireless spectrum.
According to the Associated Press, MetroPCS also wanted to block the deal. Sprint didn’t ask the FCC for an outright block of the deal but it urged the governmental agency to take a hard look.
We all know that spectrum is the lifeblood of the mobile industry and it will only become more important as our devices become even more hungry for data. The Verizon deal was an interesting attempt to secure more spectrum for its 4G LTE network because it would pay a coalition of cable companies for valuable nationwide spectrum and also agree to not expand its FiOS video service to new markets. In fact, the deal means Verizon would be partnering with its former video rival and even offer a packaged service.
It’s unclear how AT&T feels about the deal but it definitely understands why Verizon is doing it, as AT&T tried to spend $36 billion to acquire T-Mobile for its spectrum. That deal was blocked by the regulators because the government said it would lead to a marketplace that isn’t competitive.
I’m not sure what the FCC is going to do on this Verizon deal but I’m hoping it will let the deal go through. It seems like Verizon made a shrewd deal here for spectrum and others should have a chance to buy more once the government frees up more of the airwaves.