One part of the anticompetitive Verizon/cable transactions that has received less attention is the companies’ plans to create a Joint Operating Entity (JOE) to allow them to collaboratively develop new technologies “that will integrate wired video, voice and high-speed Internet with wireless technologies” for a seamless user experience.  While we’re all for “developing new technologies,” recent experiences have shown us how technology licensing can be used as an anti-competitive weapon.

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Do the Verizon/Cable Transactions Spell the End of “Facilities-Based” Competition?

February 23, 2012 Fiber , Spectrum , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo , Wireless

The Verizon/cable deals are a bad deal for consumers and a sad sign of the state of the communications market. But at least they finally expose the state of broadband competition for what it is. In particular the deals illustrate, through the actions of the companies themselves, that mobile wireless is not a “competitor” to wired. They’re different products with different uses. This is an obvious point to most but the hope that the broadband market was going to get competitive “real soon now” due to the pending arrival of some kind of wireless competitor or another has driven many of the FCC’s policies in the last decade. Unfortunately these policies have had the effect of undermining actually existing competition in the broadband market to pave the way for this prophesied competitor. As it stands the FCC’s record in predicting the future is on a par with Harold Camping’s.

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Public Interest Groups Ask FCC To Block Verizon Deals With Cable Companies

February 22, 2012 Press Release , Spectrum Reform , Verizon , VerizonSpectrumCo

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should not allow Verizon to enter into a complex series of transactions with the country’s largest cable companies, nine public-interest groups, led by Public Knowledge, said Tuesday.

In the filing, the groups said that Verizon’s arrangements to buy spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House, with a separate deal for Cox, would “would fundamentally alter the nature of the telecommunications world in a manner utterly contrary to that intended by the 1996 Telecommunications Act.”

The groups on the filing are: Public Knowledge, Media Access Project, the New America Foundation Open Technology Initiative, Benton Foundation,1 Access Humboldt, Center for Rural Strategies, Future of Music Coalition, National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, and Writers Guild of America, West

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Verizon Asks Customers to Choose – NFL or Email

January 6, 2012 FCC , Mobile Communication , Verizon , Wireless

NFL fans, it is time to choose – playoffs or email?  Verizon and the NFL announced last month that fans could stream NBC’s wildcard games (Cincinnati/Houston and Detroit/New Orleans), the Pro Bowl, and the Super Bowl on their mobile phones.  What they failed to mention was that taking them up on their offer would probably blow through your entire monthly data limit.  What they really failed to mention was that once you hit your cap, your next email will cost you $10 in overage fees.

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Public Knowledge Commends Verizon On Dropping Fee

December 30, 2011 Press Release , Verizon

The following is attributed to Art Brodsky, communications director for Public Knowledge:



“Verizon should be commended for recognizing so quickly the mistake it made in proposing a $2 ‘convenience fee’ for its customers who wanted to pay their bills in the same way in which they make online purchases all the time. Verizon dropped the fee a day after proposing it.



“Now attention can continue to focus on Verizon’s campaign to eliminate competition for high-speed Internet access through its joint marketing deal with major cable companies. The Justice Department is right to investigate that arrangement.”





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