Sen. Franken Again Presses Administration to Make Sure Verizon-Cable Deal Doesn't Hurt Consumers
Says Proposed Partnership Could Raise Prices, Hurt Choice; Calls for Conditions to Protect Consumers
Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) pressed the Obama Administration to ensure that Verizon's proposed partnership with a number of cable providers does not harm consumers by raising prices or damaging consumer choice. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Sen. Franken urged the Administration not to approve Verizon's proposed spectrum license transfers with four of the nation's largest cable companies unless that approval included conditions to ensure that the transfers don't hurt consumers.
"Verizon's plan to acquire spectrum from the cable companies will allow Verizon to further dominate and control the nation's airwaves," wrote Sen. Franken in his letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. "I am concerned that this transaction poses a serious threat to consumers and to competition that will ultimately result in higher prices and less choice for consumers. If your agencies do approve this deal, I urge you to only do so if you are able to adopt stringent conditions to protect competition and the public interest."
In February, Sen. Franken pressed the Administration to investigate the possible effects of Verizon's proposed spectrum license purchases. He was also a strong opponent of NBCUniversal's merger with Comcast, and last year, he pressed the Administration to reject AT&T's planned acquisition of T-Mobile, which the company ultimately abandoned.
The full text of Sen. Franken's letter to the FCC and DOJ is available here.