The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has paused its review of Verizon’s acquisition of XO Communications pending Verizon’s submission of responses to information requests from the commission.
In a Wednesday notice to Verizon’s lawyers, FCC Wireline Competition Bureau chief Matthew DelNero said the commission has decided to pause the 180-day time clock for review of the acquisition. DelNero said the decision was made in light of Verizon and XO’s inability to fully respond to information requests from the commission.
Back in February, Verizon announced a deal to purchase XO’s fiber-optic networking business. The deal would transfer ownership of XO’s fiber-based IP and Ethernet networks to Verizon and would see Verizon lease XO’s 28 GHz wireless spectrum with an option to buy.
Verizon and XO filed applications with the FCC for permission to transfer certain licenses and authorizations on March 4. The commission then sent information and document requests to Verizon on June 22, but said it has yet to receive everything it asked for.
“We appreciate the Applicants’ efforts to respond to these Information Requests. However, as of the date of this letter, neither Applicant has completed their production of responsive material,” DelNero wrote. “In light of the foregoing, we are pausing our informal 180-day time clock for review of these applications effective as of July 7, 2016, Day 86 of our review and the day on which the Applicants’ Information Requests responses were due.”
Verizon said in an emailed statement Thursday the FCC’s decision to stop the clock for more information gathering and analysis isn’t anything unusual.
“Verizon and XO Communications have already provided substantial data to the FCC and we’ll continue to work together with them and other regulatory agencies to provide all requested information,” a Verizon spokesman said. “We’re confident the approval process will continue to proceed in a timely manner.”
DelNero said the commission’s review of the transaction will resume once the agency has received all the necessary responses and information from Verizon and XO.
Though not a denial of the application, the suspension of review comes amid petitions from Dish, INCOMPAS and others asking the FCC to block the deal.
Dish has argued the transaction would give the wireless carrier near-exclusive control of critical 5G spectrum.
Filed Under: Industry regulations