AT&T dominates Auction 97 with USD18.2bn haul; Verizon, DISH also buy big

2 Feb 2015

AT&T Mobility, bidding as AT&T Wireless Services 3 LLC, has been named as the leading bidder in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Auction 97 process, committing combined bids worth USD18.189 billion for a total of 251 licences. After more than two months and 341 rounds of bidding, the auction concluded on 29 January, earning the watchdog USD41.329 billion in total potential winning bids.

According to Fierce Wireless, Verizon Wireless (bidding as Cellco Partnership) offered USD10.430 billion for a total of 181 concessions, while satellite TV giant – and long-time wireless market aspirant DISH Network – ranked third with bids totalling USD9.995 billion. The company reportedly received a 25% discount after bidding through ‘designated entities’ NorthStar Wireless and SNR Wireless; the duo originally lodged bids totalling USD13.327 billion. NorthStar won 345 licences, while SNR took home 357 spectrum permits.

The only other bidder to commit upwards of USD1 billion was T-Mobile US, which agreed to pay USD1.774 billion for 157 licences. Other notable bidders included US Cellular (as Advantage Spectrum), which bid USD338.304 million and America Movil (AM)-backed Puerto Rico Telephone Company, which registered bids of USD170.901 million.