AT&T completing asset swap with Verizon in Q1

AT&T said late Friday its $2.35 billion purchase of some Verizon Wireless assets will close in the first quarter of next year instead of the fourth quarter, as previously expected. Verizon Wireless was required to divest the assets as part of its acquisition of Alltel.

Additionally, AT&T said the transfer to Verizon of five service areas AT&T was required to divest as a condition of its acquisition of Centennial Communications will close in the first quarter.

Both of the deals are still subject to approval by the FCC and the Department of Justice.

Under the exchange, first announced in May, AT&T will net 1.5 million new subscribers in 79 service areas spread across 18 states; Verizon will get around 120,000 subscribers in five service areas in Louisiana and Mississippi. AT&T completed its acquisition of Centennial in November and Verizon's acquisition of Alltel closed last January.

The Alltel assets AT&T is acquiring use CDMA technology, and AT&T said it will convert the network to the GSM technology it uses. In May, AT&T said the conversion will take no longer than a year from when the deal closes, and will result in an additional planned capital investment of around $400 million over 2009 and 2010.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
- see this release
- see this release

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