Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal faces probe from US states

Comcast will now have to deal with US states as well as the US Justice Department if it expects to win approval to buy Time Warner Cable.

Florida is part of a multistate group investigating the proposed merger to make sure if doesn't run afoul of antitrust laws, the Florida state attorney general's office told CNET on Wednesday.

"We are part of a multistate group reviewing the proposed transaction along with the U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division," the Florida state attorney general's office said to CNET in an e-mailed statement. "The matter is also … Read more

AT&T wins FCC approval of $1.2B deal for Leap Wireless

AT&T's $1.2 billion acquisition of prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless and the Cricket brand won the approval of the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday.

The deal, announced last July, now needs only the approval of the US Justice Department to be completed. The wireless giant has agreed to pay $15 a share in cash for Leap's wireless network, which covers about 96 million people in 35 states.

While the FCC said it had concerns about the deal's impact on competition, the commission said those concerns were mitigated by AT&T's plans to … Read more

Rereading the tea leaves in the Netflix-Comcast deal

Ever since Netflix and Comcast announced an interconnection agreement aimed at improving streaming performance for Netflix users, commentators have been trying to read the tea leaves to determine what -- if anything -- this deal says about the future of the Internet and network relationships.

A few, including Dan Rayburn on Seeking Alpha, have hailed the agreement as a sign of the continued health of this largely unregulated market. (According to the multinational Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, more than 99 percent of interconnection deals are so straightforward that they're agreed to without a written contract.)

But most … Read more

FCC spectrum auction ends with more than $1.5B in proceeds

The Federal Communications Commission's spectrum auction for the so-called H Block concluded Thursday after bids reached the $1.564 billion reserve price that satellite provider Dish Network had promised to pay for the airwaves prior to the auction.

The auction, which began on January 22, closed after 167 rounds of bidding. Proceeds of this auction and the upcoming 600MHz TV spectrum auction scheduled for 2015 will be used to help fund a nationwide public safety network.

"With this successful auction, the Commission makes good on its commitment to unleash more spectrum for consumers and businesses, delivering a significant … Read more

FCC expands mobile-broadband speed test to include iOS users

With the launch of a new app Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission expanded the scope of its research on US mobile-broadband speeds to include iOS users.

The FCC Speed Test for iOS app, released to Apple's App Store today, is designed to collect information about the performance of participating smartphone users' mobile-broadband services nationwide. The agency's hope is that the data collected will help it generate an accurate comparison of wireless carriers' mobile broadband speeds.

"The iOS release is the latest step in the Commission's efforts to crowdsource mobile-broadband performance data for the mobile Measuring Broadband … Read more

FCC to rewrite Net neutrality rules

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said he plans on a do-over for Net neutrality rules.

On Wednesday, the chairman laid out a plan for preserving the Open Internet after a federal appeals court struck down the rules last month.

As part of this new strategy, Wheeler said the FCC will not ask the federal appeals court to re-examine its decision in which the rules were thrown out. Instead, the agency will write brand-new rules using a different legal basis that was affirmed by the court's decision.

Last month, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia … Read more

White House says it won't direct FCC to reclassify broadband

The Obama administration said Tuesday that although the president "vigorously supports" a free and open Internet, he can't order the Federal Communications Commission on how to proceed in reinstating Net neutrality protections.

The statement was in response to an online petition asking that the White House order the FCC to reclassify broadband providers as so-called "common carriers," which would put them under the same regulatory framework as the traditional phone network. The petition, which has received more than 105,000 signatures, was launched in January after the DC Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC's Open Internet rulesRead more

Amid political pressure, FCC to propose Net neutrality fix

As politicians put on the pressure, Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler says he's about to reveal his plan for keeping the Internet open for everyone.

On Monday during a speech at the University of Colorado Law School, Wheeler said that the FCC, which suffered a legal defeat last month when a federal appeals court threw out its Open Internet rules, is working on a plan that will re-instate Net neutrality protections. Wheeler indicated that the agency was encouraged by the court's decision, which rejected the regulation on a legal technicality, but upheld the agency's authority to regulate broadband networksRead more

Sprint reportedly second-guessing T-Mobile deal

Sprint may be second-guessing its push to acquire T-Mobile after encountering stiff resistance from regulators.

That's according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported that Sprint officials were regrouping after recently meeting with the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC.

Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son and CEO Dan Hesse had hoped to win over regulators and at least get a fair shake at the regulatory approval for the deal, but antitrust officials expressed strong sentiments against it, the WSJ reported, citing unnamed sources.

Sprint declined to comment.

Sprint and T-Mobile have both argued that a merger would … Read more

FCC chief reportedly skeptical on Sprint, T-Mobile deal

Regulators do not like the prospect of Sprint buying T-Mobile.

The latest to express his skepticism is Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, who told Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son and CEO Dan Hesse that while he would keep an open mind about such a deal, he was highly skeptical, according to Reuters.

Sprint will have a long road ahead of it in convincing the government that the wireless industry would benefit from a merger between the third- and fourth-largest wireless carrier. Sprint, which presumably would buy T-Mobile, has argued that a combination between the two would make for a stronger … Read more