This was an important part of the controversial $3.6B deal that Verizon cut in late 2011 with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other cable operators. The cable guys ditched their plans to create their own wireless phone service, selling spectrum they controlled to Verizon with an agreement to jointly develop new products and cross-promote each other’s services in markets where they don’t compete head-to-head. But in August the technology venture was quietly “terminated and we are moving in our separate ways on that,” Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told analysts in a conference call today to discuss earnings. The change will enable Verizon Wireless and Verizon’s FiOS service to break down an “artificial wall” so it can offer consumers “the best product available between Wireline and Wireless.” Verizon and Big Cable still plan to distribute each other’s products in markets where they don’t compete. Verizon added in a statement that “all parties” in the JV agreed to the shift to reflect “evolving technology and market changes since the joint venture was formed.” The company adds that it will join cable operators to “collaborate on technology in the future.” The FCC and Justice Department approved the spectrum and joint venture deal last year over the objections of consumer advocates who said that it would reduce competition in cable and in wireless.
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