FairPoint Communications' $2.7 billion deal to acquire network facilities from Verizon Communications has faced a massive amount of scrutiny and generated quite a bit of controversy from consumer advocates and government types in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Most of the outcry to date has been over concerns FairPoint is out of its league in taking on a large, costly acquisition that will entail far-reaching broadband service upgrades throughout the three states.
To that end, a Maine consumer advocate recently called for the companies to reduce the deal price by about $600 million. Parties in Vermont also have called for FairPoint to meet tougher broadband deployment and service quality standards after the acquisition.
But the newest spook shadowing this deal is the one that's been haunting telecom at large recently: Verizon's alleged participation in the federal government's warrantless domestic spying program. The Vermont Dept. of Public Service is now saying the deal shouldn't be allowed to proceed until Verizon resolves those allegations. North Carolina-based FairPoint is still intent on seeing this deal through, but at some point it may want to re-examine whether the gains will be worth all the trouble.
- The Nashua Telegraph (New Hampshire) has an Associated Press report
- Public hearings over the deal have been ongoing