Can a spectrum sale off save the day?
I mentioned yesterday that things were not looking good for the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. The regulators in the US have put the deal under significant pressure to determine if the merged firms would present an anticompetitive issue for other firms in the wireless market. AT&T and T-Mo pulled their application from the FCC to focus on those antitrust concerns.
At the time there was some rumor floating around that if AT&T agreed to sell off a portion of the assets it would gain from T-Mobile the deal might make it past regulators. A new rumor is claiming that AT&T is in talks right now with Leap Wireless to purchase some of the wireless spectrum AT&T would gain in the purchase.
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AT&T would keep the spectrum having to do with wireless networking, which is the reason it wanted T-Mobile to begin with. The purchase of the bandwidth by Leap, which operates as Cricket Wireless, would give the pre-paid firm much more reach. Whether or not this makes a difference with regulators remains to be seen.