updated 11:10 am EST, Wed February 22, 2012
T-Mobile urges FCC to block Verizon spectrum buy
T-Mobile USA has urged the FCC to block the $3.9 billion sale of wireless spectrum by cable companies to Verizon Wireless on Tuesday. Possibly frustrated after its own deal with AT&T was denied, the provider argued the deal between Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Cox Communications would give Verizon an "excessive concentration" of wireless spectrum. Verizon is already the biggest cellphone company in the US, while T-Mobile is fourth largest.
Many companies have argued such large deals will make competition in the industry difficult, as it risks letting only the leader afford to offer faster download speeds and more data. MetroPCS, the fifth-biggest cellphone company, has also previously publicly opposed the Verizon spectrum buy. Nine public interest groups filed motions of their own on Tuesday against the deal, ahead of the Wednesday deadline.
Sprint, third in the US industry, urged the FCC to explore the consequences of the deal deeper and ensure Verizon and cable companies would offer each other's products in stores.
The deal is expected to come to a close by mid-year if not rejected by the FCC. [via Associated Press]