Verizon Wireless sent the FCC a 14-page
screed on Wednesday denouncing critics of its AWS purchase to “address a litany
of erroneous claims” from T-Mobile USA and a number of other groups.
The missive was posted the day after the
commission decided to extend its review of the deal by three weeks after it received complaints that Verizon and the
other companies in the transaction had missed deadlines for producing documents
and made some files available in an inaccessible software format.
“A few parties continue to repeat
claims that have no merit,” Verizon said in a letter also signed by the
cable companies it is purchasing the AWS spectrum from – Cox Communications,
Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Bright House Networks.
In its latest defense of the $3.9
billion spectrum sale, Verizon singled out T-Mobile and the Rural Cellular
Association for criticism, stating the FCC could not legally block the sale so
others could purchase the airwaves, as it said they have suggested.
Verizon rebutted allegations that it has
warehoused its spectrum and didn’t use its spectrum assets efficiently, stating
that it has “devoted significant time, effort and millions of dollars of
expense to clearing its existing AWS spectrum” and will sell off its
unused 700 MHz A and B block licensesif the government approves its AWS purchase.
Opponents to Verizon’s acquisition of
the nationwide swath of spectrum have lodged a number of complaints about the
deal, principally that it will harm competition by consolidating too many
licenses in the hands of a single provider. Verizon denied the claim in its
letter, referring to the abundance of licenses held by Clearwire, and pointed
out that the AWS sale will not remove competitors from the marketplace.
Verizon has stepped up its efforts to
get the AWS sale approved in recent weeks, dredging up comments T-Mobile madeduring the AT&T merger to cast doubt on its opposition and offering to sell
off some of its valuable 700 MHz assets if the AWS deal goes through.
The FCC’s decision Tuesday to add 21
days onto the transaction’s review marked a minor setback for Verizon, which
now expects the deal to close in late summer instead of mid-summer.