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FCC Stops Clock on Verizon–SpectrumCo

The FCC has called a 14-day timeout in its vetting of
Verizon's proposed purchase of advanced wireless spectrum from cable operators
(SpectrumCo partners Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House, and,
separately, Cox).

The FCC stopped its informal 180-day shot clock on the deal
after Verizon announced it was proposing trading spectrum with T-Mobile,
contingent on FCC and DOJ approval of the SpectrumCo deal since that trade
would include some of the spectrum being acquired from cable operators.

The 14 days will be a period in which the public can comment
on the impact of the T-Mobile trade on the SpectrumCo deal. One impact could be
to make the SpectrumCo deal more FCC-friendly by reducing Verizon's spectrum
totals in some markets.

Some SpectrumCo deal critics have already weighed in, saying
the spectrum trade does not change the associated cross-marketing agreements
they argue will reduce competition between the telco and cable operators to the
detriment of consumers.