AT&T and Verizon Sitting in a Tree, D-U-O-P-O-L-Y
AT&T has beaten out some 30 telecommunications carriers and private equity groups to buy the wireless spectrum and other assets that rival Verizon Communications was required to divest as a condition of its recent acquisition of Alltel Wireless. AT&T said this weekend that it will pay $2.35 billion in cash to buy licenses, network assets and some 1.5 million wireless subscribers across 18 states, mostly in rural areas. “Wireless continues to be AT&T’s greatest growth driver, and this transaction will complement our existing network coverage, particularly in rural areas,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “The acquisition will add network assets, distribution channels and 850 MHz spectrum in a significant portion of the U.S., enabling even better coverage for AT&T’s subscribers in those areas.”
The deal will put AT&T (T) that much closer to parity with Verizon (VZ), which surpassed AT&T to become the largest wireless carrier after its January acquisition of Alltell. Together, the two account for about 60 percent of all U.S. cellular subscribers.
[Image Credit: IntoMobile]