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AT&T agrees to buy spectrum from Verizon for $1.9 billion

  • A $1.9 billion deal with its main rival, this was the biggest week for wireless spectrum news at AT&T Inc. since it abandoned its $39 billion takeover bid for T-Mobile USA in late 2011. The Dallas-based company agreed to acquire Alltel’s remaining U.S. operations covering 4.6 million people in six states from Atlantic Tele-Network for $780 million. AT&T said it had signed about 40 spectrum deals in the past year and characterized them as “opportunistic” acquisitions in “secondary” markets. Spectrum, the wireless frequencies that facilitate mobile communication is the lifeblood of that industry. CEO Randall Stephenson told investors that AT&T had increased its national spectrum holdings by a third in the past year through nearly 50 transactions achieving a top corporate goal.