Unions for 36,000 Verizon Workers Threaten to Strike

  
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Unions representing more than 36,000 Verizon landline phone and cable workers are threatening a strike starting Wednesday morning if the company doesn’t agree to a new contract.

The unions, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, say Verizon wants to freeze pensions, make layoffs easier and rely more on contract workers. Verizon says there are health care issues that need to be addressed for both retirees and workers as medical costs have grown, and it wants “greater flexibility” to manage its employees.

The latest contract had expired last August. Both sides say negotiations have been unsuccessful.

Verizon Communications says it has trained thousands of nonunion employees to fill in if the strike takes place in nine Eastern states and Washington, D.C. The company had 178,000 employees as of December.

The last Verizon strike was in 2011 and lasted for two weeks.

Written by Tali Arbel of Associated Press

(Source: MSN)

Verizon CEO Confirms Interest in Buying Yahoo

Lowell McAdam, Verizon CEO, speaking on Dec. 8, 2015.
Provided by Justin Solomon/CNBC

Verizon Communications chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam spoke with Jim Cramer of CNBC’s “Mad Money” on Friday, and confirmed the company is considering a bid for Yahoo.

McAdam previously announced the company’s strategy as being broken into three tiers: having great connectivity, owning platforms to drive traffic to its network, and owning content that supports its ecosystem.

This week, Yahoo’s earnings report confirmed the company’s dour prospects, and renewed questions about CEO Marissa Mayer’s strategy. The company is shrinking headcount and cutting expenses, and also said it was mulling strategic alternatives—corporate code for selling assets or cutting a merger deal.

When Cramer asked if Verizon would consider adding Yahoo to its three-tier strategy, McAdams responded “We have to understand the trends. But then at the right price, I think marrying up some of their assets with AOL and the leadership would be good.”

In May 2015, Verizon entered an agreement to buy AOL for $4.4 billion. McAdam said since the purchase, Verizon’s approach has been to keep AOL separate from the core company.

“We put this in an incubator almost and we have been feeding the information from our money subscribers into the AOL engine,” McAdam said.

So while the CEO is not ready to declare victory yet, he stated that adding additional media pieces into AOL might make sense and allow Verizon to turn it into something special.

Verizon Rolling Out Wi-Fi Calling to Samsung Devices This Week, iPhones Next Year

Provided by The Verge

Verizon is turning on Wi-Fi calling for devices on its network next week, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Additional devices — including iPhones — will be updated to support the service “early next year.” Verizon is the last of the big four US carriers to flip the switch on Wi-Fi calling, perhaps in part because it waited until it could get an official waiver from the FCC to do it. AT&T also received a waiver (and also had some squabbles with T-Mobile over its lack of official approval).

Verizon is positioning Wi-Fi calling as part of its “Advanced Calling” feature, which is the branding the carrier is applying to both VoLTE HD Voice calls and its own video calling service. What’s less clear is whether Verizon handsets will default to using Wi-Fi if it’s available or if it will only resort to a Wi-Fi network “When a customer uses Advanced Calling on our 4G LTE network and travels outside of coverage,” as Verizon’s implies.

The Wi-Fi calling feature will require a software update for compatible phones — so if you have a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, keep an eye out for that next week (it’s going to be rolled out “in phases,” Verizon says).

Written by Dieter Bohn of The Verge

(Source: The Verge)

The Top 50 Brands for Millennials

Millennials are set to become the largest group of consumers in America.

Ad agency Moosylvania asked 1,500 millennials — defined as 20 to 35-year-olds — to vote for their favorite brands.

The results on the following pages show which brands dominate among this subset.

50. Asus

The Asus ZenWatch smartwatch.

© Junko Kimura-Matsumoto/Bloomberg The Asus ZenWatch smartwatch.

Headquarters: Taipei, Taiwan

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -13%

Why it’s hot: This Taiwanese company is the fifth-largest PC vendor in the world. The brand is making headlines for its inexpensive Android smartphone and ZenWatch. But as more consumers turn to Android, Asus could be challenged.

49. Bethesda Softworks

A scene from the video game, 'Wolfenstein: The New Order' by Bethesda Softworks.

© Bethesda Softworks/AP A scene from the video game, ‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’ by Bethesda Softworks.

Headquarters: Bethesda, Maryland

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 94%

Why it’s hot: This video game publisher is perhaps best-known for its Elder Scrolls series. It also adapts popular series such as Star Trek and The Terminator into games. Bethesda will benefit as more millennials pick up electronic hobbies like playing games.

48. LG Corporation

The LG G Flex 2 smartphone on display at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas.

© David Becker/Getty Images The LG G Flex 2 smartphone on display at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas.

Headquarters: Busan, South Korea

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -23%

Why it’s hot: LG’s electronics scored high with millennials. However, it continues to be challenged by competitors in the ultra-crowded tech space.

47. Wendy’s

The Wendy's Co. logo is seen on a cup at a Wendy's in Daly City, Calif.

© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images The Wendy’s Co. logo is seen on a cup at a Wendy’s in Daly City, Calif.

Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: New to list

Why it’s hot: Wendy’s new marketing campaign is ultra-focused on millennials, with the young “Red” character in commercials and new items like pretzel cheeseburgers. Wendy’s has always emphasized being fresher than competitors, making every burger to-order and not freezing beef. In the era of Chipotle, this message resonates with millennials.

46. Aeropostale

Sweatshirts on a shelf inside an Aeropostale Inc. store. Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg

© Sweatshirts on a shelf inside an Aeropostale Inc. store. Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg

Headquarters: New York, New York

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -31%

Why it’s hot: Despite falling out of favor with the teen set, Aeropostale still maintains some loyalty with the 20-somethings who wore it in high school. The brand’s status, however, is falling fast as young people increasingly move away from logos.

45. Under Armour

Under Armour has exploded in popularity in recent years.

© Provided by Business Insider Under Armour has exploded in popularity in recent years.

Headquarters: Baltimore, Maryland

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -27%

Why it’s hot: Under Armour has exploded in popularity in recent years thanks to signing famous athletes like Stephen Curry and smart marketing of its performance-wear. But the brand faces steep competition from Lululemon, which is expanding its men’s line, and Nike, which continues to dominate the space.

44. Android

But Android is still having trouble catching up to Apple's iOS system.

© Provided by Business Insider But Android is still having trouble catching up to Apple’s iOS system.

Headquarters: Mountain View, California

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -8%

Why it’s hot: The operating system currently developed by Google has a big following as consumers seek out different options from Apple. But Android is still having trouble catching up to Apple’s iOS system.

43. Chanel

Pedestrians walk past signage for Chanel.

© Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images Pedestrians walk past signage for Chanel.

Headquarters: Paris, France

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: New to list

Why it’s hot: The luxury brand’s outlandish fashion shows, which included an elaborate grocery store, tend to go viral on social media. Models like Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne give the legacy brand modern relevance.

42. Sprint

A pedestrian uses a mobile device while walking past a Sprint Corp. store in Washington.

© Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg A pedestrian uses a mobile device while walking past a Sprint Corp. store in Washington.

Headquarters: Overland Park, Kansas

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: New to list

Why it’s hot: Sprint aggressively markets cell phone plans that are cheaper than AT&T or Verizon, and will even buy out your contract if you join. This strategy appears to be working with millennials, who are very connected to their smartphones.

41. Levi’s

Label on a pair of Levi's 550 jeans.

© Ben Margot/AP Label on a pair of Levi’s 550 jeans.

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -18%

Why it’s hot: Levi’s has benefitted from young consumers’ tendency to wear denim and casual clothing to work. But now, many millennials are abandoning denim entirely, choosing to wear athletic attire instead.

40. Kraft

Starting in 2016, Kraft's original Macaroni & Cheese will get its color from natural spices.

© Provided by Business Insider Starting in 2016, Kraft’s original Macaroni & Cheese will get its color from natural spices.

Headquarters: Northfield, Illinois

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 217%

Why it’s hot: Kraft scored big points with millennials this year when it announced that starting in 2016, its original Macaroni & Cheese will get its color from natural spices like paprika instead of from artificial additives Yellow 5 and Yellow 6.

39. Kellogg’s

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Battle Creek, Michigan

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 21%

Why it’s hot: Cereal sales might be declining, but sales of other products owned by the company, like Eggo waffles, Pop-Tarts, and Cheez-Its, are booming.

38. Victoria’s Secret

Pedestrians walk past a Victoria's Secret store in New York. Craig Warga/Bloomberg

© Craig Warga/Bloomberg Pedestrians walk past a Victoria’s Secret store in New York. Craig Warga/Bloomberg

Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -4%

Why it’s hot: Victoria’s Secret is the undisputed leader of the lingerie market, controlling 35% of share. The company’s marketing strategy, which includes its famous Angels, is seen as one of the best in the business. Lately, Victoria’s Secret has received some criticism for not offering plus sizes.

37. Hershey’s

Hershey's chocolate.

© Charlie Riedel/AP Hershey’s chocolate.

Headquarters: Hershey, Pennsylvania

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 6%

Why it’s hot: Hershey’s has dropped artificial colorings from its chocolate. “We are committed to making our products using ingredients that are simple and easy-to-understand, like fresh milk from local farms, roasted California almonds, cocoa beans and sugar – ingredients you recognize, know and trust,” the company said in a news release.

36. Forever 21

Shoppers walk into a Forever 21 store.

© Debbie Noda/ZUMA Press/Corbis Shoppers walk into a Forever 21 store.

Headquarters: Los Angeles, California

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -30%

Why it’s hot: Forever 21 offers fast fashion at unbeatable prices and has expanded tremendously in two decades. However, many millennials are choosing to invest in a few quality pieces rather than buy cheap clothing, threatening Forever 21’s dominance.

35. Hewlett-Packard

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Palo Alto, California

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -13%

Why it’s hot: Young consumers love Hewlett-Packard’s relatively inexpensive laptops — the company saw a 19% increase in sales of notebook units in the most recent quarter.

34. Nestle

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Vevey, Vaud Switzerland

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 260%

Why it’s hot: Nestle is also jumping on the natural ingredients bandwagon. The company has committed to removing artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors, like Red 40 and Yellow 5, from all of its chocolate candy products.

33. Oreo

Oreo cookie.

© Daniel Acker/Bloomberg Oreo cookie.

Headquarters: Deerfield, Illinois

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: New to list

Why it’s hot: Oreo’s brand has classic appeal. However, the company has managed to stay current by offering limited-time flavors like S’mores. This has helped to spark a discussion on social media.

32. Colgate

Colgate Optic White products.

© Tiffany Rose/WireImage/Getty Images Colgate Optic White products.

Headquarters: New York, New York

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 44%

Why it’s hot: Colgate’s Optic White line, which guarantees whiter teeth in one day, is driving sales with younger people. The company hired YouTube beauty stars to market the product.

31. Honda

A Honda Motor Co. emblem on the grill of a Fit Hybrid.

© Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg A Honda Motor Co. emblem on the grill of a Fit Hybrid.

Headquarters: Hamamatsu, Japan

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: New to list

Why it’s hot: Honda’s fuel-efficient, compact cars appeal to millennials. The company has poured investments into hybrid models.

30. Ralph Lauren

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: New York, New York

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 74%

Why it’s hot: Ralph Lauren’s brand is available at more than 11,000 stores worldwide. The brand has become more active on social media and hired Sports Illustrated cover model Hannah Davis to model its resort collection.

29. Xbox

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Redmond, Washington

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: no change

Why it’s hot: Microsoft’s new Xbox One console made Xbox a hot buy in 2014. Millennials are increasingly turning to gaming and other electronic hobbies over traditional sports like tennis and golf. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

28. Best Buy

Customers walk in and out of Best Buy.

© Elise Amendola/AP Customers walk in and out of Best Buy.

Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 114%

Why it’s hot: Best Buy has been succesfully growing sales and revenue through its television business. Best Buy’s television prices are up 6% from a year ago — less than Amazon’s gains of 9.2%. Executives at Best Buy have made it clear that 4K ultra high definition televisions are the future of the business.

27. Verizon

A Verizon Communications store in San Francisco.

© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg A Verizon Communications store in San Francisco.

Headquarters: New York, New York

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 346%

Why it’s hot: Verizon is continuing to dominate the mobile space. The company also recently purchased AOL, showing it is interested in producing more content. The company has recently endeared millennials by making its data plan cheaper.

26. Dove

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Rotterdam, Netherlands

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 30%

Why it’s hot: Dove, which is owned by Unilever, just posted a huge jump in sales. The company’s “real beauty” campaign, which emphasizes natural looks over the typically airbrushed ads, resonate well with millennials.

25. Vans

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Cypress, California

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -13%

Why it’s hot: Vans started out selling skater shoes, but has since gone mainstream. The company has benefitted from athletic footwear becoming more fashionable than dress shoes.

24. Valve

Undated screen shot showing two combatants in

© Valve Corp./AP Undated screen shot showing two combatants in “Team Fortress 2” from Valve Corp.

Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 47%

Why it’s hot: The video-game developer rose to prominence with its Half-Life franchise in 1998. The brand has a huge following on Facebook and frequently posts giveaways.

23. Chevrolet

Chevrolet logo.

© Daniel Acker/Bloomberg Chevrolet logo.

Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: New to list

Why it’s hot: Chevy’s compact, Trax SUV is a hit with urban millennials. The brand also just revealed a new Camaro for the modern consumer.

22. Starbucks

A Starbucks customer drinks a beverage outside Starbucks, in Beverly, Mass.

© Lisa Poole/AP A Starbucks customer drinks a beverage outside Starbucks, in Beverly, Mass.

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 1%

Why it’s hot: Starbucks has been expanding its menu to include more food options such as sandwiches and salads. It has also added drive-thrus to many locations. “Starbucks is virtually the only large incumbent that can offer millennial parents the convenience of a (fast food chain) and food they would not feel guilty/embarrassed to feed to their kids,” Goldman Sachs’ analysts write.

21. Pizza Hut 

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Wichita, Kansas

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: new to list

Why it’s hot: In November, Pizza Hut called the millennial-focused “Flavors of Now” campaign the biggest makeover in company history. After considering what millennials would want, Pizza Hut added new crusts in flavors like Honey Sriracha and Ginger Boom Boom.

20. Converse

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Malden, Massachusetts

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -11%

Why it’s hot: Converse has seen sales boom as more millennials wear sneakers to work and other occasions. Athletic apparel and footwear is set to outperform the industry for the next five years, according to Morgan Stanley.

19. Ford

Ford logo on the front grille of a Ford F-150.

© Alan Diaz/AP Ford logo on the front grille of a Ford F-150.

Headquarters: Dearborn, Michigan

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 64%

Why it’s hot: Ford is repositioning its brand to seem more luxury and compete with auto-makers like BMW and Mercedes with the launch of the new Vignale brand. The new line of compact sedans could resonate with millennials, who prefer smaller cars then their parents’.

18. JC Penney

A customer leaves a JC Penney store in New York.

© Mark Lennihan/AP A customer leaves a JC Penney store in New York.

Headquarters: Plano, Texas

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 41%

Why it’s hot: JC Penney has been working to execute a turnaround, and it’s working. According to research firm Piper Jaffray, the department store is the third most-popular among female shoppers.

17. McDonald’s

Illuminated golden arches mark the entrance to a McDonald's restaurant in Shelbyville, Ky.

© Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg Illuminated golden arches mark the entrance to a McDonald’s restaurant in Shelbyville, Ky.

Headquarters: Oak Brook, Illinois

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 14%

Why it’s hot: McDonald’s is still the most visited restaurant for the millennial demographic, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. The brand has been introducing more fresh ingredients and customizable burgers to compete with fast casual brands.

16. Macy’s

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 259%

Why it’s hot: Millennials are spending less money on clothes, which is bad news for Macy’s. In order to attract younger shoppers, the brand has been investing in trendier clothing lines and other categories like home goods and cosmetics.

15. Dell

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Round Rock, Texas

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 25%

Why it’s hot: Dell is another company benefiting from millennials’ reliance on technology. The company’s laptop and desktop computers are especially popular with the young set.

14. Adidas

An employee arranges Adidas sports shoes on display in a sporting goods store.

© Ralph Orlowski/Bloomberg An employee arranges Adidas sports shoes on display in a sporting goods store.

Headquarters: Herzogenaurach, Germany

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -7%

Why it’s hot: Adidas is going to start offering customized shoes to appeal to millennials. It also is working to reduce the time between when products are designed and when they hit shelves. Still, the brand continues to lose market share to Nike.

13. Nintendo

A Super Mario figure greets visitors in the Nintendo showroom in Tokyo.

© Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images A Super Mario figure greets visitors in the Nintendo showroom in Tokyo.

Headquarters: Kyoto, Japan

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -5%

Why it’s hot: Many millennials feel nostalgic toward Nintendo because they played its games as kids. This has led to brand loyalty in adulthood.

12. Google

People work on laptop computers in front of an illuminated Google sign.

© Jens Meyer/AP People work on laptop computers in front of an illuminated Google sign.

Headquarters: Menlo Park, California

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 4%

Why it’s hot: Google’s smartphone apps have become essential for many millennials. Its Gmail program is also extremely popular.

11. Amazon

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 8%

Why it’s hot: This year, the company started offering one-hour delivery for members of its Prime service and expanded its grocery delivery business to New York City. The company also announced a new gadget called the Dash Button, which will make it easier for consumers to order household items, such as detergent, when they are running low.

10. Pepsi

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Purchase, New York

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 90%

Why it’s hot: PepsiCo has introduced a beverage sweetened with natural sweetener Stevia called Pepsi True. The company says the new product “will continue to provide consumers with the crisp, refreshing zero-calorie cola taste they expect from Pepsi.” It also removed artificial ingredient aspartame from Diet Pepsi.

9. Jordan

A man looks over Nike's Jordan line of athletic shoes at Niketown in New York.

© Michael Nagle/Bloomberg A man looks over Nike’s Jordan line of athletic shoes at Niketown in New York.

Headquarters: Beaverton, Oregon

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 45%

Why it’s hot: Many of Nike’s Jordan brand sneakers are prominent on the billion-dollar reselling market. A growing culture of so-called sneakerheads buy collectible footwear on eBay, Craigslist, and other sites.

8. Coca-Cola

Man delivering Coca-Cola to a store in New York.

© Mark Lennihan/AP Man delivering Coca-Cola to a store in New York.

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 6%

Why it’s hot: Coca-Cola remains the clear leader in the soda market, with a 17.6% share. By comparison, Pepsi has an 8.8% share of the market. The brand also scored high points for its “Share a Coke” campaign, which featured common names on Coke bottles.

7. Microsoft

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Redmond, Washington

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: -3%

Why it’s hot: Cloud computing, mobile apps, and holographic computing are driving Microsoft to record profits. The brand recently did a demo showing how personal computers could become holographic (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

6. Target

The front entrance of a Target store in Newark, Calif.

© Paul Sakuma/AP The front entrance of a Target store in Newark, Calif.

Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 21%

Why it’s hot: Target invented the idea of “cheap chic” two decades ago. Today, the company is revamping its grocery selections for millennials.

5. Wal-Mart

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 19%

Why it’s hot: Wal-Mart gave its workers a raise this year and has pledged to adopt more humane standards for the meat it sells. It also opened smaller format stores that resonate with millennials more than supercenters.

4. Sony

Sony's 4K FDR-X1000VR video camera.

© David Paul Morris/Bloomberg Sony’s 4K FDR-X1000VR video camera.

Headquarters: Minato, Tokyo

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: 1%

Why it’s hot: Sony’s PlayStation, gaming, photo and music businesses are booming. Sony is aggressively investing in these areas. The company also has popular smartphones.

3. Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone.

© Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone.

Headquarters: San Jose, California

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: no change

Why it’s hot: Samsung’s Galaxy phones and tablets are extremely popular with millennials. The brand’s latest Galaxy S6 smartphone received rave reviews.

2. Apple

A man uses a smartphone in front of an Apple store display advertising the Apple watch.

© Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images A man uses a smartphone in front of an Apple store display advertising the Apple watch.

Headquarters: Cupertino, California

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: no change

Why it’s hot: Apple has a fanatical following, and many of its customers are millennials. The company’s iPhones, iPads and Macbooks are wildly popular. This year, Apple made headlines with its new watch.

1. Nike

© Provided by Business Insider

Headquarters: Beaverton, Oregon

% change in votes from last year’s ranking: no change

Why it’s hot: Data also shows that millennials believe exercise is essential for health, while their parents only focused on diet, and Nike is the go-to brand, holding 62% of the athletic shoe market. “Increased activity leads to increased athletic apparel and footwear spending,” the analysts write. “We see athletic footwear and apparel as more than a fashion trend.”

Written by Ashley Lutz of Business Insider

(Source: Business Insider)

FCC Moves to Stop Giant Companies Claiming “Small Business” Credits in Auctions

Provided by Bull-Doser/Wikimedia
Provided by Bull-Doser/Wikimedia

When the FCC ran a spectrum auction last year, everyone was surprised to learn who obtained $3 billion worth of “small business” credits: It was none other than the TV giant, Dish Network, which critics say worked with two tiny companies in order to game the bidding process.

Dish’s strategy, which saw it win $13.3 billion worth of bids in an auction that raised $45 billion, outraged competitors and public interest groups, and triggered an FCC investigation into whether Dish should be allowed to claim the credits. The purpose of the credits is to help small and rural operators obtain precious spectrum licenses to compete in the wireless market.

The Dish investigation is still ongoing but, in the meantime, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced proposed rules intended to stop similar shenanigans during future auctions. Specifically, the rules call for a ban of joint bidding and a cap on the credits that a company can receive in any one auction.

The proposals come as the agency lays the groundwork for a massive auction expected to take place next year. That auction will see wireless companies bid on spectrum currently allocated to TV broadcasters, and is expected to raise billions for the U.S. Treasury and for emergency services networks.

On a conference call on Thursday, a senior FCC official avoided pointing figures directly at Dish, but did say the purpose of the new rules is to stop big companies from “gaming” the system.

The official suggested the prime tools to accomplish that are the ban on joint bidding, and the cap on credits, which will top out at $150 million for small businesses and $10 million for rural service providers. The rules also propose restrictions on “unjust enrichment.”

The proposed FCC measures come amid a growing clamor for spectrum to serve the booming wireless market, and concern from some that incumbents like AT&T and Verizon are hogging too much of it. For next year’s auction, the FCC is planning to set aside 30 MHZ of spectrum for bids from smaller companies – on Thursday’s call, the FCC official indicated that Chairman Tom Wheeler does not plan to heed T-Mobile’s request to raise that amount to 40 MHZ.

The Chairman’s office plans to circulate a full copy of the new bidding rules today, and the Commission is expected to vote on them at its July meeting.

Written by Jeff John Roberts of Fortune

(Source: Fortune)

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