The FCC now is the last agency that needs to decide whether to approve the deal. ATN CEO Michael Prior said in a prepared statement he’s confident the FCC will follow the Justice Department’s lead.
Last year, ATN agreed to pay $200 million for assets Verizon Wireless (VZ) was required to sell to complete the $28.1 billion Alltel pu rchase. That transaction turned Verizon into the No. 1 wireless carrier in the United States. ATN is snapping up wireless spectrum licenses, network infrastructure, and more than 800,000 subscribers in rural parts of Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.
Justice Department officials said this week they have no antitrust concerns about the deal and that ATN will be able to compete against its wireless rivals.
Meanwhile, ATN has created a subsidiary, Allied Wireless Communications Corp. (AWCC), to oversee operation of the Alltel holdings. AWCC will be located in Little Rock, Ark. — the city where Alltel was headquartered and where Windstream Corp. (WIN) also is based. ATN said last December it will create at least 200-250 new jobs and more than 500 throughout the six-state coverage area.
ATN’s business model focuses on underserved wireless and wireline markets in North America and the Caribbean.