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US: FCC auction rules create rift between bidders

 |  May 5, 2014

The sides are becoming ever more polar in the debate over the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed auction rules for next year’s spectrum sale.

Only days after AT&T threatened to boycott the auction – and soon after retracted that threat – should the FCC carry on with plans to cap the amount of spectrum that could be acquired by industry leaders, Verizon has similarly voiced concern over the proposed rules, whereas T-Mobile and Sprint are encouraging regulators to lock-in those rules.

Reports say the upcoming auction could be the largest since the 2008 spectrum sale that raised $19 billion. But T-Mobile and Sprint, the industry’s third- and fourth-place operators, are concerned that unless the FCC intervenes, market leaders AT&T and Verizon could acquire too much spectrum.

The Competitive Carriers Association, which represents, Sprint, T-Mobile and other smaller carriers, has similarly backed the FCC’s rules. Otherwise, the group said, “the penalty is a business reality you don’t want to face: you can’t compete.”

Full content: Businessweek

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