AT&T Now Owns Verizon Assets in 18 States

AT&T Inc. has wrapped the acquisition of Verizon Wireless assets in a number of states, but Verizon customers plans and coverage will stay the same for about the next year.

In 2008, Verizon pushed for another mega-merger the first was the MCI takeover with the $28.1 billion purchase of Alltel, creating the nations largest wireless service provider. To complete the deal, though, Verizon had to sell properties in mostly rural areas in 18 states. So, AT&T bought the 1.6 million subscribers covered by Verizons network in those regions. But it will be another 12 months before those customers must switch to AT&T devices and contracts. AT&T wont charge those Verizon users to upgrade their handsets.

AT&T purchased the Verizon assets for about $2.35 billion in cash. All in all, AT&T said it plans to invest between $18 billion and $19 billion this year, assuming a favorable regulatory environment, in its wireless networks and wireline backhaul.

The favorable regulatory environment comment refers to the FCCs recent move to codify Net neutrality principles as law. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has threatened to cut funding of the U-verse IPTV product if the FCC tries to regulate the company too much.

Shares of AT&T closed 8 cents higher at $25.44 on Wednesday.

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