Verizon Wireless-Alltel Market Shoppers Lining Up - InformationWeek
Government // Mobile & Wireless
04:51 PM

Verizon Wireless-Alltel Market Shoppers Lining Up

The estimated 2.1 million wireless subscribers in the 100 markets could represent values of as much as $3 billion.

When the U.S. Department of Justice signed off on Verizon Wireless' $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel last year, its antitrust lawyers may have thought they were done with the deal when they stipulated that 100 markets in 22 states would have to be sold off.

But now with potential buyers for the 100 markets swarming around the assets, the antitrust lawyers -- now working under the Obama administration -- may be drawn into the fray once again. Several potential bidders for the soon-to-be-divested markets are said to be interested in acquiring some of the assets. They include AT&T and, according to a report this week in The Wall Street Journal, also private equity firms the Carlyle Group, Providence Equity Partners, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

The most logical acquirer -- U.S. Cellular -- is also a likely acquirer, because it uses the same CDMA infrastructure used by Verizon Wireless and Alltel. AT&T uses other noncompatible infrastructures, although, like most cell phone service providers, it plans to eventually shift to LTE.

Former FCC chairman William Kennard is a principal in the Carlyle Group, giving it strong expertise in telecommunications affairs. Providence Equity, too, has had deep experience in telecom.

Consumer advocates, who protested the Verizon-Alltel merger as anti-consumer, already are urging that acquisition of the divested markets by smaller players would encourage competition.

The estimated 2.1 million wireless subscribers currently in the 100 markets could represent values of as much as $3 billion, although the markets would likely be eventually sold off in pieces. Verizon Wireless is jointly owned by Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group.

The entire market in North and South Dakota has been designated for divesture, as well as large asset chunks in Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming. Smaller pieces have been earmarked in Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll