AT&T gets approval to buy Verizon spectrum

The FCC agreed to allow AT&T to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless, which it was required to divest as part of its 2008 acquisition of Alltel.

AT&T has gotten the final "ok" from the government to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless , which Verizon was required to divest as part of its acquisition of Alltel.

The Federal Communications Commission approved AT&T's $2.35 billion purchase of the wireless licenses from Verizon Wireless on Tuesday. The FCC said the deal did not raise competitive risks.

Verizon is selling the licenses to AT&T as part of a deal it struck with the Justice Department. Verizon agreed to give up the licenses as a condition set by antitrust regulators in order to get approval for its acquisition of Alltel, a regional wireless carrier. Verizon bought Alltel for $28.1 billion in 2008. AT&T bid on the spectrum in May 2009.

As part of the deal, AT&T will get wireless spectrum licenses, network assets, and 1.5 million subscribers in 79 service areas. AT&T has also agreed to honor Verizon's previous agreements with smaller carriers and it will honor previous roaming agreements that Verizon Wireless had with other carriers.


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