ATN gets Justice Dept. approval for Alltel asset deal

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Atlantic Tele-Network said the Department of Justice signed off on its purchase of former Alltel assets from Verizon Wireless. The company did not provide an expected final closing date for the transaction, which still needs FCC approval.

In approving the deal, the Justice Department found no antitrust concerns, and said ATN will be able to effectively compete against existing wireless carriers. The company has been trying to close the deal since it announced it would purchase the assets from Verizon last June for $200 million. Verizon was required to divest the assets as part of its blockbuster acquisition of Alltel.

The assets cover wireless spectrum licenses, network assets and more than 800,000 subscribers, primarily in rural areas across Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. Salem, Mass.-based ATN expects annual service revenues from the assets to be between $450 million and $500 million for the first twelve months following the close of the deal. In December, ATN formed a new subsidiary, Allied Wireless, to run the properties. Allied will be headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., where Alltel's headquarters were located.

For more:
- see this release

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