US: FCC auction rules create rift between bidders

The sides are becoming ever more polar in the debate over the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed auction rules for next year’s spectrum sale.

Only days after AT&T threatened to boycott the auction – and soon after retracted that threat – should the FCC carry on with plans to cap the amount of spectrum that could be acquired by industry leaders, Verizon has similarly voiced concern over the proposed rules, whereas T-Mobile and Sprint are encouraging regulators to lock-in those rules.

Reports say the upcoming auction could be the largest since the 2008 spectrum sale that raised $19 billion. But T-Mobile and Sprint, the industry’s third- and fourth-place operators, are concerned that unless the FCC intervenes, market leaders AT&T and Verizon could acquire too much spectrum.

The Competitive Carriers Association, which represents, Sprint, T-Mobile and other smaller carriers, has similarly backed the FCC’s rules. Otherwise, the group said, “the penalty is a business reality you don’t want to face: you can’t compete.”

Full content: Businessweek

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