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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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FCC to Verizon and Cable Cos: Play by the Rules

March 13, 2012 Mobile Innovation , Spectrum , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo , Wireless

The orders the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued last week in its review of the big deal between Verizon, Comcast and assorted other cable players will force the companies to play by the rules, and will provide a good view into how the industry is trying to construct its own little cartel.  The FCC staff asked a number of detailed questions, and the answers could show how Verizon and its four cable partners want to divide the world among themselves.

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Public Knowledge Pleased With FCC Actions On Verizon/Cable Deal

March 8, 2012 Comcast , Press Release , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo

The Federal Communications Commission today asked Verizon and its cable industry partners for detailed information surrounding the $3.9 billion sale of spectrum held by the cable companies to Verizon and about joint marketing agreements between Verizon and the cable partners.

The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and CEO of Public Knowledge:

“We are very pleased that the Commission is following an aggressive course in asking for more information for a deal that could create a new communications cartel in this country. 

“Verizon should be required to show whether it is going to have spectrum shortages.  Comcast should be required to provide plans to prove it actually considered entering the wireless business.  All of the companies should provide full documents to show the extent of the joint marketing arrangements.

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What Are Comcast and Verizon Hiding?

March 6, 2012 Comcast , Spectrum , Spectrum Licensing , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo

In this latest installment of 5 minutes with Harold Feld, Harold gives some background as to why secret cross-marketing arrangements between Comcast and Verizon should be of concern to the FCC and the public at large.

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Public Knowledge Statement On Verizon/Cable Filing

March 5, 2012 Press Release , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo

Verizon and its cable partners defended their spectrum-purchase deal and accompanying cross-marketing arrangements in a filing late Friday with the FCC.

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

“The argument from Comcast and partners that the FCC should stay out of the joint marketing deals with the country’s largest cellular company is, frankly, absurd.  The cross-marketing deals are as much a part of this deal as the spectrum — announced together in the same release, offered to other cable companies. 

“As we explained to the FCC earlier, the side agreements create a real danger that our communications markets will move from competition to collusion to cartel.  Rather than address these concerns, Verizon and its cable partners continue to withhold key parts of the agreements while insisting that the FCC has no role in approving them.

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