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WASHINGTON - On Thursday the Department of Justice Antitrust Division sent a letter to the FCC calling on the agency to adopt "rules that ensure the smaller nationwide networks, which currently lack substantial low-frequency spectrum, have an opportunity to acquire such spectrum." The letter’s authors wrote, these rules "could improve the competitive dynamic among nationwide carriers and benefit consumers."

In the letter the Justice Department noted that "local mobile wireless markets across the nation are relatively concentrated," and called on the FCC to promote competition with policies that "ensure that the largest firms do not foreclose other rivals from access to low-frequency spectrum that would allow them to improve their coverage and make them stronger, more aggressive competitors."

In response to the letter, Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:

"While AT&T and Verizon believe that there should be no limits on the amount of spectrum they can control, our nation's top antitrust experts strongly disagree.

"The Justice Department is deeply concerned that shortsighted FCC spectrum allocation policies could jeopardize competition in the U.S. wireless market. We hope this letter makes the FCC  sit up and take notice: the future of mobile competition is dependent on policies that prevent the largest carriers from monopolizing our nation's valuable public airwaves."

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