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FCC to reevaluate its response to mergers in the wireless industry

Posted: , by Alan F.

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FCC to reevaluate its response to mergers in the wireless industry
The FCC, led by its Chairman Julius Genachowski, is looking to reevaluate how it responds to mergers in the wireless industry. The Chairman plans on sending letters to his fellow commissioners, asking them to take a good look at the current process where the FCC has different rules for each proposed merger on a case-by-case basis. The idea is to come up with a set of clear and predictable rules that allow merger participants to know the rules before committing to a deal.

"AT&T has long advocated that the FCC should conduct its review of the spectrum screen in an industry-wide rulemaking where all can participate and a full factual record can be developed. We appreciate this important step, which should eliminate protracted battles about these issues in individual license transfer proceedings."-AT&T spokesman
AT&T, which dropped its attempted $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile late last year due to lack of Justice Department and FCC approval, was happy to see the FCC discuss changes  to the way it responds to potential deals. Sprint joined along with AT&T, saying that not all spectrum is equal and that new set of rules could help smaller carriers.

Currently, the FCC uses what is known as a "spectrum screen" in looking at deals in the wireless industry including the proposed purchase of spectrum. Deals that violate the screen are given a more strenuous look by the authorities. Sprint spokesman John Taylor said, "The current spectrum screen fails to distinguish between the utility of different spectrum bands for wireless broadband communications." For example, low frequency spectrum can more easily penetrate walls. This is obviously a more valuable piece of spectrum that should call for a different screen to make sure that a company doesn't monopolize the purchase of more valuable airwaves. Meanwhile, John Bergmayer, a lawyer for consumer group Public Knowledge, argues that the FCC is allowing the more valuable chunks of spectrum to end up being owned by Verizon and AT&T, the nation's two largest carriers.
"The current spectrum screen fails to distinguish between the utility of different spectrum bands for wireless broadband communications. We are pleased that the Commission plans to consider improvements to its spectrum aggregation regulations and we look forward to participating in these discussions."-John Taylor, Sprint spokesman

The FCC will review its rules before it auctions off some broadcaster spectrum to cellular companies later this year. The FCC was authorized to conduct the auction as part of tax cut extension legislation passed in Congress.

source: TheHill via BGR

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posted on 01 Sep 2012, 23:17

1. fur0n (Posts: 75; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)

now we can look and see why they didn't let the deal go through with at&t and t-mobile

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 01:01

2. crankyd00d (Posts: 191; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

They are doing this when there's only a few carriers left and Verizon and AT&T own the good spectrum

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 01:30 3

3. Jphones (Posts: 235; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

it didn't go through because it would have just been AT&T and Verizon sprint would be a dissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssstant 3. An nobody wants it to be a 2 man race. Glad it didn't go through AT&T already is crooks can't let them steal customers that chose not to go to them for a reason just buy buying everybody else.

posted on 02 Sep 2012, 06:20

4. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 1291; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)

Lobbyist hard at work for the big two is paying off I bet. Verizon getting the AWS spectrum to go through through the TMobile deal shows the need for better control. However the one commissioner introducing this should be scrutinized with a magnifiying glass.

Remember that the Federal Reserve was created by Senator Aldrich introducing the need to regulate and create a systematic credit monetary system. Ever since the Feds were created the dollar has been devalued, and international bankers now run the worlds monetary interest. Aldrich's daughter was married to IIRC John D. Rockefeller's son. Taxing of the people, and the Federal reserve was born by this crooked Senator....Bribery was his main way of achieving massive power for a Senator in the early 1900's. Lobbyist and bribery go hand in hand today, in fact lobbying is a form of bribery if you really look at it!...beware of that commissioner, and who is lobbying him. It's a well known fact that AT&T, and Verizon are lobbying the FCC extremely hard, and fro AT&T to be so much in accords with this just makes me wonder!

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