Verizon Landline Sales Brings Union Pressure to Block
By the middle of this year Verizon Communications expects to close an $8.6 billion deal to sell off 4.8 million landlines in fourteen states to Frontier Communications; however Verizon Communications who are quite adepts at closing such deals normally could potentially face some complications this time reports the WSJ.
The selling off of the 4.8 million landlines is opposed by the Communications Workers of America union due to fears over the spin off will bring job cuts and place a heavy financial burden on frontier Communications, and they believe they can block the deal although no many believe that will happen.
However even a delay could potentially cost Verizon as the telecommunications giant would have to continue spending to maintain the phone lines they are currently selling.
Senior VP for government and regulatory affairs at Frontier, Steve Crosby said, “Everything the union and others have brought up we’ve been able to shoot down with immediacy,” while Peter Thonis, a spokesperson for Verizon commented, “We expect to close by the middle of this year.”
In a bid to gain the attention of the FCC, the CWA demonstrated in Washington D.C., and focused their energy in West Virginia due to practically all of the landlines there are owned by either Verizon which owns 617,000 or Frontier who owns 147,000, and if the deal goes ahead Frontier would control 98 percent of the state’s local access lines which the union says is uncompetitive.