Telecom Timeout

Jan 5 2009   5:07PM GMT

With Alltel acquisition closing, Verizon just days from wireless top spot

WPeterson William Peterson Profile: WPeterson

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The Network gets a little bigger.

As DSL Reports notes, Verizon will close the Alltel acquisition on January 9th, creating the United States’ largest wireless carrier with a combined 83 million customers, 13 million of which come from Alltel.

It’s a big day for Verizon, which will be finally surpassing AT&T but also taking on $22.2 billion in Alltel’s debt as well as selling off assets in 22 states, per deals with the Justice Department and FCC.

“The Department said that the transaction as originally proposed would have substantially lessened competition to the detriment of consumers of mobile wireless telecommunications services in those areas,” the Justice Department stated in release last year, “and likely would result in higher prices, lower quality and reduced network investments.”

Verizon managed to work out a deal that satisfied both bodies, however, and was upbeat about the partnership’s prospects. Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless president and chief executive officer, released a statement:

“This move will create an enhanced platform of network coverage, spectrum and customer care to better serve the growing needs of both Alltel and Verizon Wireless customers for reliable basic and advanced broadband wireless services.”

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