AT&T to buy territories from Verizon for $2.35B

May 9, 2009 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- AT&T Inc. said Friday it will buy the assets of Verizon Wireless in 79 mainly rural areas for $2.35 billion, a deal that will affect more than 1 million subscribers.

Verizon Wireless was forced to sell the service areas, which are spread over 18 states, to satisfy regulatory conditions of its purchase of Alltel Corp. The areas are mainly Alltel territories that overlap with Verizon's own coverage, but also some Verizon territories and areas covered by Rural Cellular, another carrier Verizon bought last year.

Dallas-based AT&T, the country's largest telecommunications company, was the expected winner of the auction for the assets.

AT&T is getting spectrum licenses, cell towers and 1.5 million subscribers in the deal. Since AT&T phones aren't compatible with Alltel or Verizon phones, these subscribers will need new phones to use AT&T's network.

AT&T said the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. After that, it will take less than a year to convert the areas to its own network technology, which will require about $400 million in investment.

The states with areas included in the deal are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

AT&T also said it had agreed to sell five Centennial Communications Corp. service areas in Louisiana and Mississippi to for $240 million. AT&T announced plans to acquire Centennial in November 2008, and the deal is awaiting regulatory approval. AT&T said it expects that the sale of Centennial service areas that overlap with its own will boost the of approval.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. of New York and Vodafone Group PLC of Britain.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Briefs: Qualcomm, Verizon team on cell-phone TV

Related Stories

Briefs: Verizon upgrades Texas network

December 28, 2005

Verizon Wireless announced Wednesday it has completed more than $290 million in enhancements to its Texas voice and data wireless network this year.

Microsoft secures Verizon mobile search deal

January 8, 2009

Microsoft Corp. has bested rivals Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. by securing an agreement to become the default provider of Internet search service to mobile phone customers of Verizon Wireless, a Verizon executive said Wednesday.

Verizon 1st-qtr profit, revenue beat expectations

April 27, 2009

(AP) -- Verizon Communications Inc. said Monday its earnings grew 5 percent in the first quarter, boosted by its acquisition of Alltel Corp. and strong demand for its wireless, Internet and TV services.

Verizon offers to cut exclusive time for phones

May 8, 2009

(AP) -- Verizon Wireless has offered to shorten the period in which it demands exclusive rights to new cell phones from LG and Samsung in an effort to give small rural carriers a better chance to sell up-to-date phones.

Recommended for you

Sydney makes its mark with electronic paper traffic signs

July 28, 2015

Visionect, which is in the business of helping companies build electronic paper display products, announced that Sydney has launched e-paper traffic signs. The traffic signage integrates displays from US manufacturer E Ink ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Fazer
not rated yet May 09, 2009
"Since AT&T phones aren't compatible with Alltel or Verizon phones, these subscribers will need new phones to use AT&T's network."

bummer!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.