MMTC Commends FCC for Approving the Grain Management/Verizon Wireless B-Block 700 MHz Spectrum Deal

by mmtcbbsj on September 4, 2013

Washington, D.C. (September 4, 2013):  The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) commends Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Grain Management, LLC, and the Federal Communications Commission for working to orchestrate the largest minority spectrum deal in U.S. history.

On Feb. 15, with assistance from MMTC, the National Urban League, and the National Council of La Raza, minority-owned private equity firm Grain Management struck a deal to acquire 700 MHz band B block spectrum from Verizon Wireless, as well as Advanced Wireless Services C block spectrum from AT&T, in a three-way transaction valued at $287 million.

MMTC is pleased with the Federal Communications Commission and its Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for moving expeditiously in approving the transaction.

In its Sept. 3 Opinion and Order, the Bureau stated, “The Applicants assert that the proposed transactions would further the Commission’s goal of extending opportunities in the wireless market to small and minority-owned businesses . . . . [W]e find that the proposed assignment of licenses to Grain I and Grain II would result in transaction-specific public interest benefits, including by promoting spectrum license opportunities for entrepreneurs and other small businesses.” The Bureau recognized “the role that small communications businesses play in a robust American economy.”

MMTC President David Honig stated that “[w]ith this historic transaction, Grain Management has paved the way for other MWBEs [minority and women-owned business enterprises] to pursue similar opportunities to own and deploy spectrum.”

MMTC encourages other companies to follow Verizon Wireless’ example and promote competition in the industry by opening more doors to new entrants, particularly MWBEs.  Spectrum will fuel the digital age, so this kind of transaction is essential to the advancement of all Americans.

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