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DOJ Approves Final Alltel Divesture; FCC Next

Thu, 04/08/2010 - 1:04pm
Maisie Ramsay

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the divesture of Verizon's remaining Alltel assets to Atlantic Tele-Network. The divesture covers 800,000 customers in Idaho, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

The DOJ approved the $200 million deal after ruling out antitrust concerns and determining that Atlantic Tele-Network would be able to compete against incumbent operators

The deal still needs FCC approval to go through. Company CEO Michael Prior said the company "remained confident" that the FCC would allow the divesture to go through.

The acquisition of Verizon's final divesture assets will nearly triple Atlantic Tele-Network's wireless subscriber base, which currently stands at just 319,500, including its international operations. The company expects to have retail wireless subscribers by transaction close.

Atlantic Tele-Network runs telecommunication services through its Commnet subsidiary in the rural United States, Bermuda, U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and the South American nation of Guyana.

Verizon Wireless' $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel made it the country's largest operator and attracted the attention of regulators, who required it to divest 105 markets as part of the approval process.

Verizon's deal with Atlantic Tele-Network meant it had a buyer for the remaining 26 Alltel markets it was required to divest by the government as part of its acquisition agreement.

AT&T purchased the other 79 markets Verizon was required to divest for $2.35 billion and sold some of its Centennial Communications assets to Verizon for $240 million.

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