Opposition to Verizon cable deal mounts

Verizon Wireless' proposed deal with cable companies has provoked more opposition - this time from non-profit watchdog groups, as well as from the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The issue is that "Verizon Wireless and cable companies have begun to sell each other's services so that they can offer what is known as 'quadruple plays' - bundles of landline phone, wireless, cable television and high-speed Internet connections to consumers."

As a result, public interest groups that focus on telecommunications have "... asked the FCC to block the deal, expressing concern over a unique cross-marketing agreement between fierce rivals in the business of supplying wireline Internet connections into homes." Among the complaints was one by Free Press, which filed a petition to deny transfers between Verizon, SpectrumCo (Comcast, Time Warner, and Bright House Networks) and Cox Communications.

Critics have pointed out that a cable/Verizon alliance risks denying consumers a choice, and that other companies will not be able to compete with a Verizon Wireless or cable company quadruple play.

In addition, the state of New Jersey Division of the Rate Counsel filed a complaint with the FCC, saying that the marketing deals "could lead to collusion and higher prices."

Critics tell FCC to block Verizon deal with cable firms (Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2012)

Free Press Files Petition to Deny Verizon Deals with SpectrumCo, Cox (FreePress news release, Feb. 22, 2012)

US state asks FCC to block Verizon spectrum deals (Totaltele.com, Feb. 22, 2012)