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CWA: FCC Action on Verizon Wireless Spectrum Deal a Good Start, but More Review Needed
Posted: 09-Mar-2012 [Source: CWA]

[CWA issues statement regarding FCC requirement that Verizon and cable companies "remove some of the redactions in their filing" and goes on to say "a review of the joint marketing agreements is necessary to determine if the spectrum license transfer is in the public interest."]

Washington -- The Communications Workers of America is encouraged that the Federal Communications Commission is requiring Verizon and the cable companies -- Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Bright House Networks -- to remove some of the redactions in their filings. Until all of the documents are made public, however, there is simply too much that consumers do not know about this deal.

The FCC responded to this concern, raised by CWA and others, but it appears that the FCC will allow many redactions important to an understanding of the competitive impact of the transaction to remain. There were 229 redactions in original documents, including in one agreement sections totaling 29 pages, representing one-fifth of the agreement.

The stakes are too high for American consumers not to let the public evaluate how Verizon and these cable companies intend to price all these new products they want to offer. And the FCC cannot let these firms proceed behind a curtain of secrecy; the risk for consumers is simply too great.

It is important that the FCC letter does acknowledge that a review of the joint marketing agreements is necessary to determine if the spectrum license transfer is in the public interest. It’s a good start, but the FCC must permit a closer look at critical documents. CWA will continue its review of this proposed deal and will continue to raise concerns about competitiveness and the public interest.

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