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Verizon, Comcast, and the Patent Wars

July 27, 2012 Patent , VerizonSpectrumCo

As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) continue their review of the proposed deals between Verizon, Comcast, and several other large cable companies, attention is turning to the companies’ side agreements tied to the proposed spectrum transfer. From the very beginning of this proceeding Public Knowledge has focused on the ways that the side agreements threaten the public interest, in addition to potentially spelling the end of competition between wireline and wireless internet service providers.

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Public Knowledge Defends Consumer Choice in “The Future Of Video” Hearing

June 29, 2012 Data Caps , VerizonSpectrumCo , Video Innovation

PK President and CEO Gigi Sohn was back on the Hill Wednesday morning, offering testimony before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology on “The Future of Video.”

The panel featured seven other members, including representatives from the broadcast, cable, satellite, movie, internet and streaming industries. Specifically, that means Charlie Ergen of DISH Network, Robert Johnson of Sky Angel, David Hyman of Netflix, Jim Funk of Roku, David Barrett of Hearst Television, Michael O’Leary of the MPAA, and Michael Powell of the NCTA (and formerly of the FCC) all joined Gigi on the panel. Needless to say, it was a big panel.

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Public Knowledge Expresses Doubts About Verizon Spectrum Sale

April 18, 2012 Press Release , VerizonSpectrumCo

Background: Verizon announced today that it would sell some of its wireless licenses if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the company’s plan to buy spectrum from major cable companies and to have marketing agreements with the cable companies.

The following is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge:

“There is less than meets the eye to Verizon’s spectrum sale. At the end of the day, Verizon and the cable companies will still have created a cartel in which Verizon will rule the air for wireless broadband and cable will offer the only widespread true high-speed landline Internet services.

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Verizon/SpectrumCo: What a Tangled Web It’s Weaved

March 26, 2012 Spectrum Licensing , VerizonSpectrumCo

Today, Public Knowledge and some of our friends filed reply comments to Verizon Wireless and the cable companies’ opposition to our petition to deny the proposed spectrum transfer and its accompanying agreements.  While we believe the transactions will harm competition and consumer choice, what has emerged from the debate is how the agency, resale, and joint operating entity (JOE) agreements fit into the spectrum transfer. 

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Merger ‘Conditions’ Can’t Fail As Big Deals Are On The Line

March 16, 2012 Comcast , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo

On any given day, on any given cable or satellite system, subscribers will see a message telling them that a favorite channel which had been in one spot on the channel lineup has been shifted to another.  It happens all the time as channels are added, subtracted or moved around.  It’s not a big deal.

Unless, of course, the cable channel in question is Bloomberg Television.  Since March 2011, Bloomberg has been trying to hold the Comcast-NBCU media behemoth to the promises it made, and agreed to, in order to complete the takeover that resulted in one of the biggest media companies in history.  Comcast’s power and influence belies its rankings of #66 on the Fortune 500 and #101 on the Financial Times Global 500.  The numbers don’t show the power of the largest cable provider, largest high-speed Internet provider, a TV network, a movie studio and numerous cable channels all rolled into one.

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