FCC OKs ALLTEL-Western Wireless Merger

The FCC has given ALLTEL Corp. approval to acquire Western Wireless Corp., but imposed conditions requiring the divestiture of Western Wireless assets in 16 markets in Arkansas, Kansas and Nebraska.

Federal regulators concluded the merger of Little Rock, Ark.-based ALLTEL and Bellevue, Wash.-based Western Wireless will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.

Through the Western Wireless acquisition, ALLTEL is gaining about 1.4 million wireless customers in 19 states. That will give the company about 10 million wireless customers in 33 states, ALLTEL and Western Wireless said in January when the planned merger was announced. ALLTEL also is adding 1.6 million international customers in six countries.

The Department of Justice also has approved the merger agreement with conditions of divestitures similar to the FCC agreement.

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