Verizon’s FiOS service competes directly with cable companies involved in the agreements, including Comcast and Time Warner, and Verizon worried that the cross-promotion would eventually eliminate FiOS from the picture.
Among the requirements to let the deals move forward, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications must dial down the scope and length of their marketing agreements. The rules prohibit cross-marketing in communities also served by FiOS exists — mainly in the mid-Atlantic — and impose a four-year limit on the deals is areas where FiOS is absent.
The Justice Department also approved Verizon’s proposed spectrum sale to T-Mobile, and Verizon must announce a public process to sell other previously unused spectrum.
“By limiting the scope and duration of the commercial agreements among Verizon and the cable companies while at the same time allowing Verizon and T-Mobile to proceed with their spectrum acquisitions, the department has provided the right remedy for competition and consumers,” said Joseph Wayland, acting assistant attorney general for Justice’s antitrust division.