Free Press Pleased That the FCC Will Examine Verizon/Cable Pacts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: January 19, 2012

Contact: Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

WASHINGTON -- On Thursday, Verizon Wireless, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bright House Networks announced that they would provide the Federal Communications Commission with copies of the companies' joint marketing agreements to resell each other's services. The joint marketing arrangements will now be scrutinized as part of the FCC's proceeding examining Verizon's companion deals to buy sizable chunks of wireless broadband spectrum from these same cable companies. These anti-competitive pacts to divide up the broadband market were announced last month.

Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:

"We applaud the FCC for requesting these agreements and asking questions about the deals Verizon has forged with the cable cartel. These agreements might be convenient for business, but they will most certainly come with a high cost to consumers. Without real competition for cable or mobile phone services, there's no pressure to lower prices or innovate.

"Even as the FCC begins its process for reviewing these deals, Verizon and the cable companies have already begun to resell each other's services in select cities under joint marketing agreements. The companies are circumventing the review process, and they should stop doing so until the public has had time to comment on the arrangements and the FCC makes its decision."

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