AT&T Buys Spectrum From Rival Verizon for $1.9B
The deal comes shortly after AT&T agreed to acquire Alltel
Wireless company AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) will acquire spectrum from rival wireless company Verizon Wireless Inc. (NYSE: VZN) for $1.9 billion in cash, amid a flurry of wireless deals.
AT&T is buying spectrum in the 700 MHz band that covers 42 million people in 18 states, including California, New York and Texas.
The company will also hand over spectrum licenses in the Phoenix, Ariz., Los Angeles, Fresno, Calif. and Portland, Ore. markets through the deal.
In connection with the deal, AT&T will sell Grain Management a license, and will lease 700 MHz spectrum from Grain in three markets.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
On Jan. 22, ATT&T agreed to pay $780 million to expand its reach in rural areas through its acquisition of Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. (Nasdaq: ATNI), which does business as Alltel. Allied, based in Little Rock, Ark., serves about 585,000 customers. The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. In August, AT&T agreed to pay $600 million for NextWave Wireless Inc., a company that maintains and manages wireless spectrum assets.
Beverly, Mass.-based Atlantic provides telecommunications services to under-served markets in the U.S., Bermuda and Canada.
Other wireless providers have also been active in the sector. Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) is planning to acquire the half of Clearwire Corp. (Nasdaq: CLWR) that it doesn’t already own, which would broaden its reach. In November, Sprint agreed to buy PCS spectrum assets from U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) for $480 million.
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