WASHINGTON Aug 1 The U.S. Federal
Communications Commision said on Friday it wants to prevent
joint bids in wireless airwave auctions by nationwide providers,
a move that could complicate reported plans for a joint venture
by Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc.
The announcement came two weeks after the Wall Street
Journal reported the third and fourth largest U.S. mobile
carriers planned on raising $10 billion for a joint venture to
bid in the FCC's much anticipated 2015 sale of low-frequency
airwaves, as part of a merger proposal.
"If two of the largest companies are able to bid as one
combined entity in the auction, their combined resources may
have the effect of suppressing meaningful competition," Roger
Sherman, the FCC's wireless telecommunications bureau chief,
said in a blog post on the commission's website.
Sherman said the rules currently in place were written
before the accelerated consolidation in the wireless industry
and must be revised to allow more businesses to serve growing
consumer demand for data.
Joint bidding has been used as a way for small companies to
raise funds and gain more leverage against larger bidders in
auctions for airwaves.
The commission is seeking comment on arrangements between
providers of different sizes as it solidifies bidding rules for
the 2015 sale.
The auction would be the first opportunity in years for
wireless carriers to buy low-frequency airwaves, considered the
beachfront property of radio spectrum for their reach and
To read Sherman's blog, see: here
(Editing by Ros Krasny and Jeffrey Benkoe)