Verizon Wireless Sells Spectrum to AT&T For $1.9 billion


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According to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, AT&T has agreed to acquire spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless for $1.9 billion. The 700 MHz Block B licenses will cover 42 million people in California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

The deal also includes AT&T handing over to Verizon Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses in markets such as Phoenix, Los Angeles, Fresno, and Portland, Oregon.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), but AT&T expects the transaction to be completed sometime in the second half of 2013.

The transaction is part of a 700 MHz spectrum sale that Verizon announced last year. The sale is part of an agreement made with U.S. regulators so that Verizon could acquire spectrum from cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner.

This spectrum acquisition comes just after AT&T announced this week that it will buy Alltel for $780 million. Alltel is a smaller wireless carrier that serves around 585,000 subscribers in the rural areas of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, and Idaho. AT&T announced last year that its goal is to provide 300 million Americans with access to its 4G LTE network by 2014.