Why Is VZ Paranoid?

4:15 PM -- I'm a bit confused by the paranoid actions of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) lately. They've gone after the VOIP competition in court by suing Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG) and a couple of cable MSOs. (See Vonage Loses Verizon Appeal, Verizon Sues Cox, and Verizon Sues Charter Over VOIP Patents.) (You can't single them out for Vonage, though, since everyone joined in on that party.) They've constantly hounded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for help in penetrating FiOS. (See Verizon Asks FCC for FiOS Help and Verizon Asks FCC to Undo Unbundling.) And now they're suing Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) for false advertising. (See Verizon Sues Time Warner Cable.)

I understand that if it has a legitimate case then it's not only Verizon's right but its responsibility to take action against its competitors. I get that. But it's just weird how if you look at all these events by themselves, you would think that Verizon is the one that is struggling to compete while its competitors are walking all over it. But the complete opposite is true. Sure, its stock has slipped a little bit in 2008, but the losses can't touch what cable MSOs have absorbed. Clearly Verizon is gaining traction while cable is losing it. Yet it's the one frantically taking someone to court every time they step ever so slightly out of bounds.

Perhaps I'm just naive.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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