Opinion
U.S. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies before the House Communications and Technology panel on Capitol Hill in Washington December 12, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron U.S. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies before the House Communications and Technology panel on Capitol Hill in Washington December 12, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron  

Sprint’s crony socialist hypocrisy

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Seton Motley
President, Less Government
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      Seton Motley

      Seton Motley is a consultant and the founder and president of Less Government, an organization dedicated to, well, less government. He is editor-in-chief of StopNetRegulation.org, a Center for Individual Freedom project.

Crony Socialism is, in part, the government cutting special deals for certain companies – at the expense of other companies, and the free market.

It is particularly pathetic when companies publicly troll for this treatment.  It’s almost as if they’ve given up on actually, you know, trying.

Sprint, T-Mobile US, Dish Network and other smaller carriers are already lobbying [Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler]. 

In a letter to Wheeler on Thursday, the companies’ top executives…urged Wheeler to adopt rules for the (spectrum) auctions that would ensure “that the two dominant wireless incumbents not be allowed to lock competitive carriers out of acquiring…spectrum.

But — it’s an auction. Everyone bids, and the best bids win. Everyone has equal access. Problem preemptively solved. Except that’s not what these guys mean. More from their begging letter:

“To be clear, none of us has ever suggested excluding the largest two carriers from theauction.

Oh — good.

“Reasonable spectrum-aggregation limits, however…

Oh — wait. So they do want the government to exclude some companies from freely bidding in the auction. Maybe they should have written “Let us be clear” instead.

“More competition, in turn, means more jobs, more investment , faster innovation, and more economic growth in America. Competition will also enable the Commission to maintain its ‘light-touch’ regulatory approach to the wireless industry.” 

Absolutely. But no one’s going to go out of business as a result of this auction. There’ll be just as many competitors after as before.

However, the whole debate over spectrum aggregation limits will largely be a moot point if the FCC can’t persuade enough broadcasters to give up their spectrum for auction in the first place.

A great way to ensure that not enough broadcasters participate? Have the government limit the number of bidders — and thus the coin to be garnered by the broadcasters. Exactly what these crony socialist companies are asking for.