Verizon urges FCC to approve deal with cable companies


"As a result, tens of millions of consumers, businesses, and public safety and other government customers who choose Verizon Wireless to obtain high-speed broadband will continue to receive the quality service they expect," the company wrote.

Verizon noted that the cable companies were not using the spectrum.

Consumer advocacy groups and competitors such as T-Mobile have urged the FCC to block the deal, warning it would allow the largest wireless carrier to consolidate its control over the airwaves and reduce competition with the other providers. But Verizon argued that it is one of the most efficient companies in its use of spectrum and that the deal will help it meet the needs of its customers. 

It also said competition in the wireless industry would remain "robust" with the deal.

Although the consumer groups have claimed that the cross-marketing agreements between Verizon and the cable companies would lead to anticompetitive behavior, Verizon argued the FCC has no authority to review those deals. 

The company said the FCC only has the right to examine deals that involve transfers of airwave licenses. 

"Consideration of the Commercial Agreements is not necessary for — or even relevant to — the review of the spectrum license assignments here," Verizon claimed.

It also noted that the Justice Department is already investigating the cross-marketing agreements in its own review.

Public Knowledge, a consumer group that opposes the deal, called Verizon's arguments "absurd."

"The cross-marketing deals are as much a part of this deal as the spectrum— announced together in the same release, offered to other cable companies," Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge, said in a statement. 

"As we explained to the FCC earlier, the side agreements create a real danger that our communications markets will move from competition to collusion to cartel," Feld argued.

--Updated at 12:29 p.m.