updated 04:55 pm EDT, Fri May 1, 2009
Verizon requests extension
Verizon has asked the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for a 60-day extension to complete divesting the markets it currently shares with Alltel, with which it recently merged. The wireless provider is citing the poor state of the economy as one reason for the request, as well as the sheer size of its assets, with each marketing area containing about 200 pages worth of assets that need to be auctioned off. When the Verizon merger with Alltel was approved, it was under the condition that it divests from 105 markets where Verizon and Alltel services overlap.
Verizon had 70 prospective buyers for the divested markets but due to the economy, each requested extra due diligence and data before placing their bids. While Verizon requested the bids are in by March 1st, the more detailed than usual due diligence process resulted in the deadline not being met.
"This has made it impossible to complete the divestitures within the initial 120-day period," Verizon's filing to the bureau says.
With the Alltel buyout, Verizon has overtaken AT&T as the single largest carrier in the US, now numbering 86.6 million total subscribers, while AT&T has 78.2 million. [via BetaNews]