Lucius Fox

Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Enterprises

The U.S. Department of Justice  seems to be the only thing standing between the $4 billion sale of spectrum from the cable companies’ Spectrum Co. to Verizon Wireless, according to multiple news reports. Both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that the FCC is in favor of the deal, but the bigger competitive issue remains on the table at the Department of Justice.

Posted at 10:00am and tagged with: Internet, Access, Connectivity, Broadband, Department of Justice, DOJ, Federal Communications Commission, FCC,.

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, at the CTIA Wireless conference Tuesday. He was challenging AT&T’s recent assertions that the government’s rejection late last year of AT&T’s effort to buy T-Mobile (see Death of a deal: Effects on AT&T, T-Mobile, consumers, more) have forced AT&T to raise its customers’ prices — which was one of the government’s concerns about the merger. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson reportedly complained about a spectrum shortage at the Milken Institute’s annual global conference last week, saying “since that deal got killed, our data prices have gone up 30 percent.” GigaOm’s Kevin Fitchard argues that AT&T is “nowhere near exhausting its airwaves.”

Posted at 8:35am and tagged with: Federal Communications Commission, FCC, CTIA, ATT, T, T-Mobile, T-Mobile USA, Mobile, Carriers, Wireless, DT, Deutsche Telekom,.

Some have recently argued that the government’s review of transactions in the wireless space — or, let’s be frank, review of one specific transaction — is somehow causing a shortage of spectrum and leading that company to raise prices for consumers. The overall amount of spectrum available has not changed, except for steps we’re taking to add new spectrum on the market.

Federal regulators escalated their antitrust investigation of Google on Thursday by hiring a prominent litigator, sending a strong signal that they are prepared to take the Internet giant to court, report David Streitfeld and Edward Wyatt on Friday in The New York Times.

The inquiry, by the Federal Trade Commission, centers on whether Google is abusing its advantage in Internet search by manipulating results to favor its own products. The case has the potential to be the biggest showdown between regulators and Silicon Valley since the government took on Microsoft 14 years ago.

The news about the antitrust investigation overshadowed Google’s formal response earlier Thursday to a fine by the Federal Communications Commission for obstructing a separate investigation into whether privacy laws had been violated in the Street View project. In the response, Google formally denied obstructing the F.C.C. inquiry, but agreed to pay a small fine anyway.

Posted at 11:19am and tagged with: Google Inc., Google, GOOG, Anti-Trust, Law, Legal, Department of Justice, DOJ, Federal Communications Commission, FCC,.

The Justice Department said Thursday it has sued AT&T Inc., alleging the telecommunications giant improperly billed the Federal Communications Commission for services it provided to the hearing-impaired.

The lawsuit focuses on a service AT&T provides that lets hearing-impaired people place telephone calls by typing messages over the Internet.

Posted at 3:06pm and tagged with: AT&T, ATT, T, Telecomm, Telecommunications, Carriers, FCC, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Justice, DOJ, TTY,.

T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS Communications Inc. are pushing the Federal Communications Commission to block Verizon Wireless’s plan to buy wireless airwaves from a group of cable companies for $3.9 billion.

T-Mobile—which just months ago was pushing antitrust authorities to approve its failed deal to sell itself to AT&T Inc.—argued in an FCC filing that Verizon Wireless’s deal poses “a clear threat to competition” and would allow the nation’s largest cellphone carrier “to accumulate even more spectrum on top of an already dominant position, while checkmating crucial avenues for growth of its smaller competitors.”

Posted at 3:13pm and tagged with: Verizon, Federal Communications Commission, FCC, Technology, Spectrum, VZW, T-Mobile USA, TMO, AT&T, T,.