Verizon has made a deal to pay $3.6 billion to Comcast, Time Warner and Brightline Cable to use a stretch of unused cellphone airwaves, and inked a cooperative marketing arrangement that has raised the hackles of regulators, the Washington Post reports.
The spectrum deal would keep Verizon No. 1 at a time when AT&T is, apparently, failing in its bid to take the crown by joining forces with T-Mobile USA.
The cooperative marketing arrangement would have the cable companies and Verizon to "become agents to sell one another's products," the Post reports. It could allow customers to buy Verizon products in a Comcast store and vice-versa.
Telecom analyst Craig Moffett is quoted in the newspaper as saying the agreement is "a complete reordering of the competitive universe as we know it" and "amounts to a partnership between formerly mortal enemies, not just outside of Verizon's FiOS territories, but even within them."