AT&T is intending to bid for around USD3 billion worth of Verizon Wireless assets reported the Wall Street Journal (WSJ)yesterday. Verizon must sell off the assets as a condition set in the approval of its USD28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel which was completed last month. The assets include 2.1 million mobile subscribers across 22 states, wireless spectrum and other resources.
The WSJ suggested other interested parties include a joint bid from private-equity firms Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts & Co; Providence Equity Partners LLC; and possibly at least one cable provider. AT&T is in the strongest financial position of all the potential bidders and should acquire the lion’s share. However, Gigi Sohn, president of the public interest group Public Knowledge, said the government should encourage Verizon to sell the assets to smaller players to enhance competition. The Department of Justice said it would examine affected markets and any competitive issues before giving its approval to the divestitures.