Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam told The Wall Street Journal that if its deal to buy spectrum from and partner with major cable TV companies gets approved by the Federal Communications Commission, it will be able to launch a mobile video service by the end of the year to existing mobile and cable TV subscribers that also could include an a la carte consumption model.
It may have been planning to do this all along, but one has to wonder if the timing of this tidbit suggests that Verizon feels some pressure to tell regulators more about how it plans to use the spectrum and what the deal means for consumers. Though Verizon, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and others have testified to the FCC that the deal will not be anticompetitive, the proposed sale also has been widely criticized, and often compared to AT&T's (NYSE: T) idea to acquire T-Mobile, which eventually failed under regulatory scrutiny.
That a Verizon mobile video service could be a la carte will definitely get the FCC's attention, as this has been a hot topic among regulators for years, even though content companies and cable TV firms resisted it at every turn. If the FCC approves the sale, that could be the detail that helps win the agency over.
Some cities are worried the deal would halt FiOS expansion
Comcast insists it can compete and co-market with Verizon