In a white paper released today, the American Antitrust Institute reviews the competitive issues raised by Verizon’s acquisition of spectrum from the country’s largest cable operators and their related commercial partnerships. The paper concludes that Verizon’s proposed spectrum acquisition increases the risk duopolization of the wireless market by AT&T and Verizon, and prevents the spectrum from being used to undermine the market power of the dominant firms rather than entrench it.
At the same time, the commercial partnerships related to the deals raise significant competitive concerns in the markets where Verizon and the cable companies compete or potentially compete for wireless and wireline customers. The AAI points out that prior to this transaction, Verizon was reluctant to facilitate cable’s ability to offer a “quad-play” or wireless solution, apparently to protect its wireless and wireline businesses from competition from cable companies. The commercial partnerships represent an about face, which merits strong scrutiny by federal regulators.
About the American Antitrust Institute
The American Antitrust Institute is an independent Washington-based non-profit education, research, and advocacy organization. Our mission is to increase the role of competition, assure that competition works in the interests of consumers, and challenge abuses of concentrated economic power in the American and world economy. Our list of contributors is available upon request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Brunell, AAI Director of Legal Advocacy