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CWA: VZW Spectrum Sale Doesn't Change Anti-Competitiveness of Deal with Big Cable

18 Apr, 2012

Washington, D.C. -- Today's announcement of wireless spectrum sales by Verizon Wireless as a condition of its spectrum deal with Big Cable does not protect consumers or workers from the anti-competitive heart of the deal: the joint marketing agreement.

The proposed deal is more than a spectrum sale. It is a partnership to market each other's products and services between the U.S.'s largest wireless provider - Verizon - and the biggest cable companies, including Comcast, Cox and Time Warner. The proposed deal also includes a joint venture to develop proprietary technology on an exclusive basis.

Joint marketing by Verizon Wireless and Big Cable will produce higher prices, worse service, reduced broadband investment, and it will kill jobs. This form of collusion will give these giant telecommunications companies overwhelming market power, padding corporate profits at the expense of consumers, jobs and local communities.

Today's announcement may be in response to the growing opposition this deal faces in communities across the country. It may be an attempt by Verizon Wireless and the cable companies to forestall greater scrutiny by the FCC and the DOJ. Regardless, we will study the proposal to assess its impact on consumers and workers.

But the heart of the deal remains unchanged. We cannot allow historic competitors to become partners through a marketing and joint venture agreement. We need competition, not collusion. As workers in the industry and consumers of its services, the Communications Workers of America renews our call on the FCC and the DOJ to step in to protect consumers and the economy by rejecting the proposed joint marketing agreement or amending it to include pro-competition provisions, including FiOS network build-out and a prohibition on cross-marketing.

Verizon Wireless To Conduct Spectrum License Sale (Verizon Wirelress Press Release, Apr. 18, 2012)

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