The Federal Communications Commission unanimously cleared the way for Verizon Wireless’ $3.9 billion purchase of airwaves from a group of big cable providers led by Comcast Corp. According to the New York Times, the FCC voted 5 to 0 to allow Verizon’s acquisition of unused spectrum belonging to Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications. Final approval was considered a fait accompli when the FCC and U.S. Department of Justice blessed the deal last week. The FCC agency also gave the green light to transfer spectrum licenses from Leap Wireless and the transfer of wireless spectrum between Verizon and competitor T-Mobile. Verizon plans to use the spectrum for its higher-speed 4G network. The deals also allow for the cable companies to market Verizon services and cross-market their own services in Verizon stores. Consumer groups have criticized the spectrum transfer and related marketing deals as anticompetitive, and the Writers Guild West also condemned the Verizon-cable deal.
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