Verizon Communications Inc.(NYSE:VZ), which is looking at deals to buy spectrum from cables companies, may have to comply with some tough conditions by antitrust regulators, as per a report from Reuters.
Comcast Corporation(NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable Inc(NYSE:TWC) are among the group of companies that Verizon is negotiating with to buy spectrum in deals worth $3.9 billion. The companies want to close the deals in August.
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The Justice Department and Federal Communications Commissions are ready to approve the plans of the mobile services provider but antitrust regulators have sought strict limits on controversial side deals, the Reuters report said.
Negotiations with the Justice Department's Antitrust Division have been bruising, focusing on plans by Verizon Wireless and Comcast, the biggest mobile carrier and the biggest cable company, respectively, to market each other's products, it said.
Regulators have expressed concerns over a joint venture to develop technologies - such as one to allow consumers to move seamlessly between wired and wireless hookups - that could create monopolies restricted to the consortium.
The path that the talks are on would lead to a consent decree that would forbid cross marketing agreement where Verizon markets its FiOS product, Reuters quoted unidentified sources.
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Cross marketing in the rest of Verizon's footprint and the joint research and development project would be allowed but only for a limited period of time, the sources told Reuters.
Verizon is the biggest mobile service provider in the United States.
Antitrsut regulaotrs are very active in the U.S. and last month the Justice Department and the FCC turned down AT&T's bid to buy rival T-Mobile in the U.S., on the grounds that the merger would create a monopolistic entity that would stifle competition.