FCC approves Verizon-cable deal for spectrum

FCC formally approves Verizon-cable deal for spectrum, joining Justice Department

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission has approved Verizon Wireless' acquisition of airwave licenses from four cable companies.

Thursday's approval was expected after the Justice Department cleared the deals with conditions last week.

Consumer groups worried that a side deal between Verizon and the cable companies to market each other's products in stores limits their incentive to compete in providing home broadband and video services.

The Justice Department said Verizon Wireless stores can sell cable TV service only where Verizon has no plans to build out its own FiOS TV service.

The FCC also agreed with Justice that Verizon had gone a long way toward justifying the deal by agreeing to see some airwave licenses to T-Mobile USA, the spectrum-strapped No. 4 cellphone company.

The four cable companies in the deal are Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., Bright House Networks and Cox Communications Inc.

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