Verizon Wireless enters into agreement with three cable companies which may limit consumer choice

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Verizon Wireless has announced that it will be entering into an unusual agreement with three large cable companies, and that this may change the way that consumers receive their internet, telephone, and cellular service, as these powerful firms join together over the mobile and home entertainment marketplace.

This deal is among companies that have traditionally been rivals and has instantly drawn the attention of regulators, as advocacy groups say that the consortium may limit consumer choice.

The new agreement has Verizon paying Bright House Networks, Time Warner, and Comcast a fee of $3.6 billion in order to gain access to a broad array of cell phone airwaves that are owned but unused by the cable companies.

This way, Verizon’s position as the top wireless carrier is secured, and it has use of a valuable range at a time when its top competitor, AT&T, is fighting to widen its own network by way of a controversial merger that has been proposed with T-Mobile.

However, what is being called the strangest part of this agreement is the factor that includes a cooperative marketing arrangement, which allows Verizon and the cable firms to “become agents to sell one another’s products.”

This would permit a consumer to shop for a plan with one company and include products from one of the other companies. For example, an individual could shop at a Comcast store for television, landline phone, and internet service and add a Verizon Wireless plan to the package. The firms even added that Verizon’s name may not even be appearing on the bundle packages that include its services.

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