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US: Debate flies over Verizon, AT&T participation in FCC spectrum auction

 |  July 24, 2013

The debate over whether the nation’s top mobile communications companies, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, should be able to participate without restrictions in the Federal Communication Commission’s upcoming spectrum auction reached a new pinnacle in Congress on Tuesday. Representative Greg Walden (R-OR), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee told the House the FCC should not restrict the companies’ participation in the auction, declaring it would be “folly at best” for the FCC to do so. Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) disagreed and said FCC oversight could potentially “promote a competitive landscape for carriers of all sizes.” The debate began last April when the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division requested the FCC to consider such restrictions on Verizon and AT&T that would allow smaller rivals like Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile to compete for the spectrum. The communications regulator said it plans to finalize the auction rules this year and hold the auction in 2014.

Full Content: Bloomberg BNA

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