Massive Verizon-Vodafone deal ‘should sail through,’ experts say

{mosads}The deal, which would be more than three times larger than AT&T’s failed 2011 bid for T-Mobile, would give Verizon 100 percent ownership of the wireless venture.

Verizon already owns a controlling share of Verizon Wireless, so gaining 100 percent ownership of the venture won’t fundamentally alter the competitive landscape of the wireless industry, experts say.

Harold Feld, senior vice president for Public Knowledge and a vocal critic of telecommunications industry consolidation, agreed that the deal is likely to receive swift regulatory approval. 

In a blog post, he explained that the companies will need to receive approval from the Federal Communications Commission, but he said to think of the process “more like a change of address notification than as a full on application.”

Silva noted that unlike the purchase of Sprint by Japanese firm Softbank, the Verizon-Vodafone deal will result in less foreign ownership of the telecommunications industry. Several lawmakers expressed concern about a foreign firm buying Sprint, but an interagency committee ultimately cleared the deal of national security concerns.

Silva predicted that some groups could try to use the regulatory review of the Verizon deal to push their own policy goals.

“Any time there’s a big transaction, there’s enough attention to it that you could see entities come out of the woodwork to try to leverage their agendas,” he said. “Typically, it’s more for the exposure or the [public relations] effect.”


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