Verizon offers to sell operations to buy Alltel

24 Jul 2008

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of New York-based Verizon Communications and Britain’s Vodafone Group has offered to sell its wireless operations in 85 US markets in a bid to gain regulatory approval of its planned acquisition of Alltel. Verizon has said it is committed to divesting overlapping spectrum, operations and other assets in North Dakota, South Dakota and parts of 16 other states. In a letter from the company to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Verizon said divesting some assets will ensure ‘there will be no loss of competition in any of these markets’. The planned sales cover about 15% of Alltel’s 13.2 million subscribers.

In May, Verizon revealed its plan to acquire the fifth largest US mobile operator by subscribers Alltel for USD5.9 billion plus the assumption of USD22.2 billion in debt. If the deal goes through it will make Verizon Wireless the largest mobile operator in the US. However, the deal requires approval from the Justice Department and the FCC.