Competition Worries Snag Verizon Deal on Airwaves

The Justice Department is holding up Verizon Wireless’s $3.9 billion deal to acquire cable-company airwaves over concerns a related agreement will hurt competition for broadband Internet service, according to people familiar with the matter.

After a set of divestitures Verizon Wireless has promised, the Federal Communications Commission essentially is prepared to sign off on an agreement by cable companies to transfer airwaves to Verizon that it can use in its new LTE wireless network, the people said. The move would help the nation’s largest cellular carrier meet soaring demand for data use on smartphones.

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