FTC approves Verizon-Alltel deal

The Federal Trade Commission approved Verizon Wireless' $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel on Wednesday, clearing the last major hurdle to the closure of the deal that will create the nation's largest wireless carrier.

Antitrust regulators at the FTC included the deal on a list of transactions that received "early termination" of their antitrust reviews. An early termination means that the review was completed before the end of a 30-day period required under antitrust law. The deal was given approval by antitrust regulators at the U.S. Department of Justice in late October and the FCC approved the deal Nov. 4. Verizon agreed to divest from 105 markets where the two carriers had overlapping coverage.

The newly merged carrier will have more than 80 million subscribers, surpassing the nearly 75 million of AT&T Mobility.

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