The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given its approval to Verizon’s USD28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel (Verizon is paying USD5.9 billion, and assuming USD22.2 billion of Alltel’s debt). The combined subscriber base of Verizon’s 70.8 million and Alltel’s 13.8 million takes them beyond AT&T with 74.9 million to become the new number one US wireless operator. However, the FCC has stipulated conditions on the deal. Verizon will be required to maintain any roaming agreements Alltel has with other carriers for at least four years. This surpasses the initial two year period suggested, but falls short of the seven years requested by some competitors.