Consumer group wants details of Verizon-cable research project


Public Knowledge argues that the planned joint research project could be the first step toward a cartel of the major video, Internet and wireless providers.

The public interest group already has access to confidential information that Verizon and the cable companies submitted to the FCC for its investigation. But in Wednesday's filing, Public Knowledge argued that the companies should publicly reveal some of those documents.

The group said the public should have access to the "basic governance structure" of the joint research project.

"The governance structure of the [Joint Operating Entity] is neither highly confidential nor confidential, but is critical to assessing the public interest impacts of the proposed transactions; understanding the connections between the Applicants’ spectrum, marketing, resale, and JOE agreements; and determining whether the JOE will establish the basis for a future cartel between its members," Public Knowledge wrote.

Verizon argues the joint venture is about gaining the scale necessary to make expensive investments in developing new technologies that will benefit consumers.

A Verizon spokesman declined to comment on Public Knowledge's most recent filing.