This site is part of the Global Exhibitions Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Prepaid Issue Holds Up AT&T's Alltel Buy

August 28, 2013 - News

**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q2 2013.**

AT&T's purchase of Atlantic Tele-Network's (ATNI) Alltel retail operations in January has been put on hold by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC says it has put a halt on the informal 180-day review period, even though they were 175 days into the investigation, The Verge reported.

The problem arose when the FCC didn't get enough information regarding how AT&T will help Alltel's prepaid customers switch to the new network.

AT&T agreed to pay $780 million for Alltel assets that include spectrum, licenses, retail locations and customers. The carrier already owns a large part of Alltel.

If the acquisition is eventually approved, all of Alltel's old assets will be owned by either AT&T or Verizon, which acquired a large part of Alltel in 2008. Alltel subscribers would have to move from a CDMA network to either GSM or LTE.

In a statement by the FCC, AT&T appears to have constructed a plan for anyone on Alltel's contract-based postpaid plan; however, of the 591,000 Alltel customers, only 182,000 are prepaid. The FCC has not explained any further problems with the deal in its statement. The 180-day approval clock will restart once the statement has an explanation.

Meanwhile, AT&T responded: "AT&T is extremely disappointed at the FCC delay today on this small transaction. AT&T is ready, willing and able to make significant network investments in these rural territories to bring HSPA+ and LTE services to Allied's customers, an investment that will not occur but for this transaction. AT&T has actively worked to address FCC concerns and will continue to work with the Commission until all issues are resolved."

"As a matter of corporate policy, we do not comment on the status of pending regulatory matters," said Michael T. Prior, CEO of ATN, in a prepared statement. "We continue to expect that the sale of our domestic retail wireless business will obtain the necessary regulatory approval and be completed in a timely manner."

comments powered by Disqus
Related News
The born-in-the-cloud partner and the IaaS provider helped the members-only furniture showroom
The transaction comes as the Geek Squad partner program has gone off the radar.
That means Zayo now runs 21 facilities throughout the country.
Khali Henderson
The distributor is helping its resellers profit from the cloud craze.
Kelly Teal