updated 10:15 pm EST, Tue November 4, 2008
FCC approves Verizon deal
The FCC on Tuesday approved the Verizon-Alltel buyout, turning Verizon into the largest US wireless carrier with about 83.8 million subscribers, toppling AT&T's 74.8 million subscriber base. MobileCrunch reports that the $28.1 billion deal involves a buyout of $5.9 billion, accompanied with $22.2 billion in assumed debt. Details of the purchase state that Verizon must maintain a four-year roaming agreement with Alltel's existing partner carriers, a time period suggested by Verizon that doubled the FCC's requirement of two years.
While Verizon gets to benefit from the recognition of being the largest carrier, Alltel draws most of its benefits from connecting its approximate 13 million subscribers to a network of 70.8 million people. Exclusive handsets will be shared between the two companies, with Alltel customers gaining access to Verizon's Open Development program.