It’s finally official. Verizon Wireless will soon become the largest wireless carrier in the US when it finalizes its acquisition of Alltel. The last regulatory obstacle standing in the way of the Verizon-Alltel deal has been hurdled with the US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) approval of the deal.
With the FCC and US DoJ already on board with Verizon’s plan to buy-out Alltel, the FTC’s decision was all that stood between Verizon Wireless and the No. 1 US wireless spot. The FTC’s antitrust regulators have agreed to terminate their evaluation of the Verizon Wireless deal’s possible antitrust implications, which indicates that the commission has no objections to the deal.
Verizon Wireless will be paying $5.9 billion and assuming $22.2 billion of Alltel’s debt.
Verizon Wireless now has a clear path to acquiring Alltel. But, given the FTC’s late-year approval announcement, Verizon Wireless will likely have to wait until early 2009 to finalize their deal and become the nation’s largest wireless carrier, by subscriber count.