For several months now, Verizon has been working hard to garner a broadband spectrum deal in which they would AWS spectrum licenses from a few of the major cable companies like Comcast and Cox for around $3.9 billion. This would give Verizon access to much more broadband spectrum than their competitors and it would make use of the spectrum that the cable companies are just sitting on. The deal drew the attention of the Department of Justice as potentially anti-competitive, so Verizon has been attempting to finagle things to schmooze them into signing off on the deal. One of their clever proposals involved claiming that their deal would be "pro-competitive" because they were going to agree to a spectrum swap with their rival T-Mobile, who were originally the biggest critics of the deal. Unfortunately for Verizon, it doesn't look like the DOJ is buying their snake oil. Here's a quote with the details,
Even though Verizon has been a bit craftier than AT&T about trying to acquire more spectrum, they still haven't found the right balance. Last year AT&T lost billions on their proposed buyout of T-Mobile in order to acquire more spectrum, but multiple factors stopped that deal from moving forward (including the DOJ). It looks like the Department of Justice is still wary, and Verizon needs to "go back to the drawing board."Citing unnamed sources, WSJ says that the Justice Department is concerned that the proposed deal “will hurt competition for broadband Internet service” and would be “in effect, an agreement not to compete for Internet users in each other’s territory.” The sources say the DOJ is highly unlikely to pass off on the proposed deal unless Verizon and the cable companies make significant changes that satisfy the agency’s concerns over anticompetitive behavior.