updated 02:24 pm EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
Changes expected as Vodafone removed from picture
Verizon has reportedly confirmed that it has ended a joint venture with cable companies Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks. In a conference call following the company's quarterly earnings report, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo suggested the partnership was terminated in August in response to developments in technology and changing market conditions.
The wireless carrier initially agreed to the partnership as part of its $3.6 billion purchase of an AWS spectrum license from the cable companies. Customers in certain markets were consequently given options to bundle wireless service with their cable TV bundles from Time Warner and other competitors.
Consumer advocacy groups and Verizon's competitors argued that the spectrum deal and the joint venture may have run afoul of antitrust laws, potentially giving Verizon a dominant share of wireless spectrum while enabling the partners to artificially inflate prices.
Shammo further suggests Verizon will be able to improve its own service bundles, eliminating an "artificial wall" that had been in place between the company's wireless division and its cable and telephone business, according to quotes posted by Deadline. Following the buyout of Vodafone's stake in the wireless business, the company expects to be able to offer "the best product available between wireline and wireless."