FCC Approves Verizon Wireless-SpectrumCo Transaction
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:August 23, 2012
Mark Wigfield (202) 418-0253
FCC CONCLUDES REVIEW OF VERIZON WIRELESS-SPECTRUMCO DEAL AND
APPROVES RELATED SPECTRUM TRANSACTIONS
Commission Approves Transfers of Spectrum between Verizon Wireless and SpectrumCo, Cox, Leap,
Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission has concluded its review of the Verizon
Wireless-SpectrumCo deal and approved four significant spectrum transfer applications involving
Verizon Wireless, subject to a number of binding commitments and conditions. The applications include,
among other things, the assignment of AWS-1 licenses held by Cox and SpectrumCo (a joint venture
among subsidiaries of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks) to Verizon Wireless; a
spectrum “swap” between Verizon Wireless and Leap; and Verizon Wireless’s net assignment of AWS-1
licenses to T-Mobile. The full Order further explaining the Commission’s reasoning and the
commitments and conditions is available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-
The Commission’s decision is based on a thorough review of the record, which includes extensive data
and analysis from the applicants, as well as thousands of comments from interested parties and substantial
public input. In addition, Commission staff coordinated closely with the staff of the U.S. Department of
Justice’s Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) throughout the review. That coordination helped result in a Consent
Decree between DOJ and SpectrumCo and Cox, which requires significant modifications to the
commercial agreements in order to prevent anti-competitive and anti-consumer conduct.
To address staff concerns regarding spectrum concentration, Verizon Wireless undertook an
unprecedented divestiture of spectrum to a competitor, T-Mobile. In addition, the Commission’s Order
includes enforceable commitments from Verizon Wireless to accelerate buildout of its newly acquired
spectrum, as well as to offer data roaming on commercially reasonable terms and conditions. The
Commission’s Order also finds that the significant concerns raised in the record concerning the
Applicants’ related commercial agreements have generally been addressed by the Consent Decree. In
particular, the Order finds that the Consent Decree preserves Verizon’s incentives to build out FiOS,
ensures that the proposed technology venture is pro-consumer and that its products cannot be used in anti-
competitive ways, and protects and potentially enhances wireless competition. Because the commercial
agreements are in the early stages of implementation and relate to evolving markets, however, the FCC is
placing an independent reporting obligation on Verizon. In addition, the FCC is opening a docket to
allow the public to file complaints or petitions alleging that the parties are acting in violation of the
conditions imposed by this order or engaging in anti-competitive conduct relating to this transaction.
More specifically, the Order imposes as conditions the following four voluntary commitments made by
Verizon Wireless must close its proposed spectrum transfer with T-Mobile within 45 days of its
closing of the SpectrumCo, Cox, and Leap transactions.
Within three years, Verizon Wireless will provide signal coverage and offer service to at least 30
percent of the total population in the Economic Areas or the portions of Economic Areas in
which it is acquiring AWS-1 license authorizations (calculated by summing the population for
each of these areas); and
Within seven years, Verizon Wireless will provide signal coverage and offer service to at least 70
percent of the population in each Economic Area in which it is acquiring AWS-1 license
authorizations, or, where a portion of the Economic Area is acquired, to at least 70 percent of the
population of the total acquired portion of the licensed Economic Area.
In the event the current data roaming rule is not available to requesting providers, Verizon
Wireless will continue to offer roaming arrangements for commercial mobile data services on any
of its spectrum in the areas where it is acquiring AWS-1 spectrum to other commercial mobile
data service providers on commercially reasonable terms and conditions, and providers may
negotiate the terms of their arrangements on an individualized basis. This commitment will
remain in place for five years following the date of the Commission’s order.
Verizon must provide on a semi-annual basis, subject to an appropriate protective order, reports
concerning trends in DSL subscribership following the implementation of the commercial
Action by the Commission, August 21, 2012, by Declaratory Ruling, Memorandum and Order (FCC 12-
95). Chairman Genachowski, Commissioner Clyburn and Commissioner Rosenworcel approving;
Commissioner McDowell and Commissioner Pai approving in part and concurring in part. Separate
statements issued by Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel and Pai.
Docket No. 12-4.
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