By HANNAH F. DAVIESAssociated Press – WASHINGTON (AP) The Federal Communications Commission said Thursday it will close its investigation into the sale of wireless network licenses to Verizon Communications Inc., which owns the top U.S. wireless carrier.
The FCC announced it will not prosecute the Verizon deal, which was announced in August, as part of a larger investigation into alleged anticompetitive behavior by the wireless industry.
The agency said the FCC will not pursue the sale to any other carriers.
“As a result, the Commission’s investigation will be closed, and Verizon will not be prosecuted,” FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.
Rosenworchel was appointed by President Donald Trump and has been critical of the FCC’s investigation of Verizon.
The agency did not announce any other sanctions against Verizon.
The FTC’s investigation focused on whether Verizon violated the FTC’s antitrust laws by charging fees that were too high.
The commission has been investigating whether Verizon’s wireless network business is a monopoly.
It said in its September report that Verizon’s mobile phone network and wireless Internet business were dominant.
The company has faced growing criticism over the past year after it agreed to pay a record $3.7 billion to resolve antitrust complaints over its acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. and a dispute over the charging of too much for wireless broadband.
Verizon’s deal with Verizon Wireless came after it announced plans to buy AOL Inc. for $4.5 billion in 2016.
Verizon Wireless said in October that it planned to invest $2.8 billion in new wireless infrastructure in 2018, and it expects to have more than $5 billion invested by 2021.