Ina Fried

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Verizon, AT&T in $1.9 Billion Deal to Swap Some Spectrum

Verizon Wireless has announced a bunch of spectrum-swap deals, including an agreement with AT&T that will see Ma Bell forking over $1.9 billion in cash.

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In that deal, AT&T is getting 39 lower 700 MHz B Block licenses from Verizon, along with the cash, In addition, AT&T is transferring some spectrum in the AWS band in several western U.S. markets including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Fresno and Portland, Oregon.

Verizon is getting $189 million by selling 700MHz licenses in North Carolina to Grain Management, a Florida-based private equity firm. Verizon will also lease an AWS license for Dallas that Grain is acquiring from AT&T.

And Verizon said it will lease 700 MHz spectrum to 20 rural operators as part of its effort “to jumpstart the delivery of 4G LTE in rural areas.”

The Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice will have to give the okay for the deals to be finalized.

Verizon had said it would sell some of its 700 MHz holdings assuming it was allowed to acquire spectrum from a coalition of cable companies.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald