Verizon, T-Mobile U.S. agree on spectrum deal
By Nicola Leske
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Wireless and Deutsche Telekom's U.S. unit have agreed to a spectrum deal that may clear the way for the U.S. company's plans to buy a chunk of spectrum from cable providers.
The agreement, which needs approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice, included exchanges of spectrum between the two carriers and a cash payment from T-Mobile USA, the companies said on Monday.
They declined to divulge financials of the deal but analysts estimated that T-Mobile USA would pay around $260 million.
In addition, T-Mobile USA said it had given up its opposition to Verizon Wireless' proposal to buy spectrum from cable companies.
A T-Mobile USA spokeswoman said that "our agreement with Verizon will alleviate the public interest harms of their transaction with the cable companies as originally proposed", adding that "with FCC approval of these divestitures, we now support prompt approval of Verizon's transaction along with our transaction".
Verizon Wireless had said in April that it plans to put a chunk of wireless spectrum up for sale, potentially improving its chances of gaining regulatory approval to buy about $3.9 billion worth of wireless airwaves from cable companies including Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc.
The spectrum buy would be part of broader agreements to create a joint venture and allow the cable operators to resell Verizon's mobile service.
That plan was opposed by several smaller rivals -- among them T-Mobile USA -- who had complained to the FCC about the bigger company's cable deal on concerns that it would give too much market power to the already dominant company. Continued...