Blog » CWA Lauds FCC Decision To “Stop The Clock” On Verizon Wireless/Big Cable Proposal
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Communications Workers of America today stated its support of a decision by the Federal Communications Commission to "stop the clock" on its review of a proposed deal between Verizon Wireless and large cable operators, noting the action is a large step forward in assuring review of the potential impact on consumers and the prices they would pay.
"Today's FCC decision simply shows that as federal regulators look more closely at this proposal, the more they are seeing the potential problems," said CWA Telecommunications Policy Director Debbie Goldman. "CWA and many other national groups are saying it's important that all the facts regarding the impact of this proposed merger - particularly ones concerning pricing and competition - see the light of day."
On April 20, the CWA wrote a letter to the FCC to stop its 180-day informal clock in its review of the Verizon Wireless/Cable transaction that would allow Verizon, Comcast, Bright House Networks, Cox and Time Warner to market each other's products and services as well as the spectrum sale. CWA asserted in the filing that the parties to the transaction have failed to provide requested data in a manner that allows for meaningful review. CWA also urged the FCC to follow the precedent it used in prior transaction reviews in which it stopped the clock until the agency and outside parties received requested documents in an accessible format and had a chance to review their content.
Meanwhile, public concern about the implications of the deal has mounted, with growing numbers of elected officials, consumer advocacy organizations, civil rights organizations, smaller cable providers, telecom workers, and individual consumers voicing their opposition to the venture. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino detailed the economic dangers of the deal for urban areas in comments to the FCC and the Maryland Chapter of the NAACP filed comments to the FCC explaining how concentrated power in the industry would put poor and minority communities at further economic disadvantage.
Further, residents of Syracuse protested the partnership, and over 145,000 consumers nationwide have signed an online petition against the deal. Last week, Rep. Henry Waxman and Rep. Anna Eshoo added their voices to the dissent by urging the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to hold public hearings on the deal.
CWA Calls on FCC To "Stop the Clock" On Review of Anti-Competitive Verizon Wireless/Big Cable Deal (CWA-Union.org, Apr. 20, 2012)
FCC asked to give groups more time to review Verizon/Cable Spectrum Filings (Bloomberg BNA, Apr. 25, 2012)
FCC Letter -- Re: Applications of Celico Partnership d/bla/ Verizon Wireless, SpectrumCo, LLC, and Cox TMI Wireless, LLC for Consent to Assign Wireless Licenses, WT Docket No. 12-4 (FCC.gov, May 1, 2012) http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0501/DOC-313857A1.pdf
Verizon Wireless Airwaves Purchase Review Extended by FCC (Bloomberg, May 1, 2012)
FCC Extends Review Time for Verizon-Cable Deal (National Journal, May 1, 2012)
FCC Extends Review of Verizon's Spectrum Deal (Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2012)
Verizon and cable companies promise to reformat documents to avoid derailing deal (The Hill, May 1, 2012)
Feds key on ‘most-favored nation’ in Verizon deal (Politico, Apr. 30, 2012)
Industry groups join CWA call for FCC to stop the clock in Verizon/cable review (Speedmatters.org, Apr. 26, 2012)