Verizon Wireless spectrum deal near regulatory approval - WSJ

Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:17pm IST

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Aug 14 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are close to approving Verizon Wireless's proposed $3.9 billion spectrum purchase from several cable companies, including Comcast Corp, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the negotiations.

The companies have reached broad agreement to settle antitrust concerns by limiting the scope and duration of side agreements to sell each other's services, the Journal said.

Antitrust regulators have earlier sought strict limits on controversial side deals even as the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appear prepared to approve the spectrum portion of the deals with minor adjustments.

Besides the side deals, Verizon and Comcast have also agreed not to implement the joint marketing agreement in areas where they both compete for Internet, TV and phone service, the newspaper reported.

The Justice Department and FCC are reviewing plans by Verizon Wireless, the biggest U.S. mobile provider, to buy spectrum from a consortium of cable providers, including Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The transactions were proposed in December.

Verizon Wireless could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside U.S. business hours.

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