FCC Approves Verizon Spectrum Purchase (VZ, CMCSA, TWC)


Following in the footsteps of last week's approval of the deal, the Federal Communications Commission today has approved the $3.9 billion acquisition by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) of wireless spectrum from SpectrumCo LLC. SpectrumCo is a joint venture of Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), BrightHouse Networks, and Cox Communications Inc.

FCC approval had been anticipated after the U.S. Justice Department last week approved the deal provided that Verizon complete the sale of some current bandwidth assets to T-Mobile USA and that the cross-marketing agreements Verizon had signed with Comcast and Time Warner be limited. The FCC's chairman had signaled his blessing for the deal earlier this month.

Verizon's president/CEO said:

This purchase represents a milestone in the industry and we appreciate the FCC's diligent work to review and approve the transaction. We will work aggressively to ensure that we put this previously unused spectrum to use quickly to benefit customers.

Verizon will also sell other spectrum assets, and the company claims that more than 65 parties have sought information about the spectrum the company is shedding. Verizon plans to use the acquired spectrum to add to its LTE network.

Verizon's shares closed at $42.25 today in a 52-week range of $34.65-$46.41. The stock has been inactive in after-hours trading.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Cable Companies, Mergers & Acquisitions, Telecom & Wireless Tagged: CMCSA, featured, TWC, VZ