Three weeks after winning antitrust approval, AT&T’s $944 million buy of Centennial Communications is now getting the FCC’s thumbs-up.
Centennial has customers throughout the Midwest and the Southeast, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The companies have argued that the merger will better allow for the deployment of broadband to rural areas, one of the goals of the Obama administration.
Last month, the Department of Justice signed off on the purchase so long as they sell some assets in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi in order for customers there to have adequate competition in the market. AT&T had already agreed to sell some of them to Verizon. AT&T will also honor Centennial’s roaming agreements with other carriers in the regions the company serves.
The FCC expressed its concern about the consolidation of telecommunications companies not necessarily benefitting customers, but gave its approval anyway.
You should see AT&T products at Centennial retail outlets in the mainland U.S. early next year. The full takeover in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will come a little later in 2010.