FCC to review wireless mergers by year-end

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said yesterday that the agency will try to finish its review of Verizon's pending acquisition of Alltel as well as Sprint Nextel's joint venture with Clearwire by year-end.

This is good news for all parties involved since they have been preparing for a year-end close and telling investors that things are on track. Just last month Clearwire CFO John Butler told investors that things were on track for a fourth-quarter close and that buildout of its first four mobile WiMAX markets was moving smoothly.

Meanwhile, Verizon reportedly is preparing for the finalization of the Alltel deal and has retained Morgan Stanley to sell the overlapping assets it will have in 85 cellular markets as a result of its proposed acquisition. Morgan Stanley has reportedly valued the assets, which are spread throughout the U.S., to be between $3 billion and $4 billion.

Related articles:
Clearwire says Sprint deal will close soon
Verizon hires Morgan Stanley to divest overlapping markets