Well that certainly didn’t take too long. The FCC has just made good on their promise to deliver a decision on the Verizon-Alltel merger deal before the end of 2008. Verizon Wireless has just been given the go-ahead to acquire fellow CDMA wireless carrier Alltel in a merger deal that would give Verizon the subscriber-base to leap-frog over market-leader AT&T.
With the US Presidential election over and President-elect Obama now ready to lead the US on the road back to recovery, we’re all ready for some change. And, it seems that the FCC is getting their house in order for a new administration.
The US Department Of Justice cleared Verizon’s bid to takeover Alltel, with asset divestment stipulations added on, just last week. The approval made way for the final obstacle standing between Verizon and their buy-out of Alltel.
That final obstacle was hurdled with the FCC’s blessing of the Verizon-Alltel merger. The FCC has just given Verizon a veritable thumbs-up to go ahead and gobble up Alltel’s operations and assets. But, before Verizon can proceed with their acquisition of Alltel, the FCC is demanding that Verizon cease its operations in five small markets, in addition to the DoJ’s divestiture requirements, for the sake of maintaining a competitive market.
The FCC is also requiring that Verizon honor all of Alltel’s roaming agreements with smaller, rural, wireless carrier for four years.
The $28 billion deal, once complete and finalized, will effectively make Verizon Wireless the largest US wireless carrier by subscriber count. AT&T has enjoyed its position at the top of the wireless totem pole for quite some time, but will have to come to terms with being the runner-up in the US.