Verizon Accuses T-Mobile of Hypocrisy Spectrum Protest

Posted by at 12:18 am on April 30, 2012

Earlier this month, T-Mobile went to Washington to protest Verizon’s planned purchase of Advanced Wireless Services airwaves from cable companies, writing a letter (PDF) to the FCC urging the regulatory body to block the spectrum sale. Now, Verizon is turning the tables on its competitor, accusing T-Mobile of hypocrisy in a letter of its own.

Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, and Bright House have all signed on to a new letter to the FCC. In the letter, the companies claim that T-Mobile’s own failed sale to AT&T represented the same sort of anti-competitive behavior of which it is now accusing Verizon and its cable company partners.

T-Mobile representatives previously met with the FCC to protest Verizon’s plan to expand its own bandwidth capabilities by buying spectrum from cable companies. T-Mobile claimed that Verizon wasn’t fully utilizing the spectrum it already held, and that the addition of the AWS spectrum would give the carrier an unfair advantage in the marketplace. Verizon previously offered to sell its own holdings in the lower 700MHz band of the spectrum in an effort to address regulatory concerns, but competitors charge that such a sale would be insufficient to mitigate the anti-competitive effects arising from the AWS buy.

T-Mobile, which recently secured FCC approval for its own acquisition of AT&T’s AWS spectrum, has responded to Verizon’s charges, labeling them “a smokescreen” meant to draw attention away from the “serious anticompetitive impacts” that could result from the sale. T-Mobile continued, calling for the FCC to work to ensure “vigorous competition” by thoroughly examining whether such competition could survive the proposed spectrum transaction.

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