Sprint, T-Mobile urge FCC to pause review of Verizon-cable deal

They question whether the side deal will lead to anti-competitive collusion between the companies.

Although Verizon has publicly released some details on the arrangement, much of it is redacted. The company says the documents contain sensitive business information. 

FCC officials have access to the un-redacted documents, but in Tuesday's filing, the groups said Verizon should be forced to publicly release more information on its deal.

"The Applicants claim that the Commercial Agreements are neither anticompetitive nor relevant to this proceeding. Although they have submitted those agreements into the record, they redacted extensive portions of the documents that they unilaterally deemed too sensitive for disclosure even subject to the stringent confidentiality provisions of the Protective Orders issued in this proceeding," the groups wrote. 

They said the redactions "make it impossible to understand the full ramifications of the documents or to evaluate their relationship to and effect upon the proposed transactions."

They urged the FCC to pause its informal 180 day "shot clock" for reviewing the transaction until Verizon releases the un-redacted documents.

But a Verizon spokesman defended the company's right to keep confidential business information secret.

"The cross-marketing agreements are redacted to protect sensitive business information, such as pricing, that would undermine competition and ultimately harm consumers," a Verizon spokesman said. "Officials at the FCC who have inquired about the agreements, and the Department of Justice, who require access to the full versions of the agreements for purposes of its review, have access to them."