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Verizon Cable deal expanding nationwide

In the short time since the signing of the Verizon Big Cable deal, all parties seem to be expanding their reach. While treading around the prohibition on cross marketing in FiOS areas, the companies are blanketing the U.S. with bundles: TV, Internet, landline and wireless.

Together with Verizon, Comcast has already cross marketed bundles in 30 areas, including Denver, Seattle, Atlanta and Chicago. Now two of Verizon's other partners are expanding their marketing. According to one report:

"Cox's new deployments are in San Diego and Santa Barbara, adding to the previous Cox/Verizon hookups in parts of Kansas, Arkansas and Nebraska, as well as in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla.

"TW Cable, meanwhile, went live with Verizon Wireless bundles this week in San Diego and in Rochester, Buffalo and Albany, N.Y.; several Texas markets, including El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi, and 'select cities' in Massachusetts."

This aggressive marketing could harm competition throughout the country as other providers find it difficult to beat the Verizon Wireless/cable quad play.

Under the terms of the deal, the U.S. Department of Justice enjoined the partners from selling bundles in areas where FiOS is offered, and so far neither Verizon nor the cable companies have blatantly violated the rule. But a report in The New York Times last month said that the restriction "appears to be malleable." So, consumers everywhere may see a steady rise in prices, and a decline service - the results of a non-competitive market.

Verizon has indicated that it no longer wants to invest in the superior fiber system, but is content to move its own business toward wireless and let cable impose monopoly conditions around the country.

CWA and consumer groups have opposed the deal since it was first announced as being bad for consumers and bad for workers.

Links:

Verizon Wireless & Cable Keep Rolling (Light Reading, Oct. 22, 2012)

Mobile Services and Cable TV Are Unexpected Allies (NY Times, Sep. 23, 2012)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/business/media/verizon-airwave-purchase-unites-mobile-and-cable-companies.html

Verizon-Big Cable looking to avoid cross-marketing rules (Speed Matters, Sep. 25, 2012)

Category: Consumer Protections and Good Jobs, Digital Divide, Justice Department, Mobile, Television, Verizon/Cable Deal, Wireless