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Rick's Role: Never Gonna Give You Up?

Rick Kaplan may be the FCC’s former wireless bureau chief, but he is also the current top advisor to chairman Julius Genachowski on the Verizon/SpectrumCo merger review.

Kaplan, former senior counsel to the chairman, exited his bureau chief post in mid-June when the former chief, Ruth Milkman, returned. “We will miss his leadership at the agency,” Genachowski said in a May 30 announcement of the change. Kaplan’s name no longer produces a phone number in the FCC’s online phone directory.

But according to an ex parte letter dated June 29, Kaplan is providing some leadership as senior counsel for transactions, taking meetings with activist groups on the Verizon/SpectrumCo deal. He was still on the job as of last week, according to an aide to one FCC commissioner.

That is familiar territory for Kaplan. According to his FCC bio, Kaplan “helped lead” the FCC’s reviews of Comcast/NBCU, AT&T/T-Mobile, AT&T/Qualcomm, DISH/DBSD & TerreStar, and most recently, Verizon Wireless’ agreement to purchase spectrum from SpectrumCo and Cox.

A spokesman for Genachowski said the chairman had indicated Kaplan would continue to be involved with transactions before he left the agency for good.