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DoJ approves Verizon Wireless-Alltel, requires divestitures in 22 states

The Department of Justice approved Verizon Wireless’ $28 billion purchase of Alltel Communications L.L.C., subject to required divestitures of wireless assets in 100 markets encompassing 22 states.
“The divestitures required are necessary to protect wireless customers and are among the most extensive required by the department in a wireless case,” said Thomas Barnett, assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division.
DoJ said the divestitures, included in a settlement requiring court approval, cover the entire states of North Dakota and South Dakota, major portions of Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming, and sections of Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote on the Verizon Wireless-Alltel deal Nov. 4. The agency is expected to call for wireless divestitures mirroring those announced by the Justice Department. Small, rural and regional wireless carriers have lobbied the FCC to attach roaming conditions to any approval of the Verizon Wireless-Alltel tie-up. If the FCC signs off on the merger, Verizon Wireless would jump ahead of AT&T Mobility as the nation’s largest mobile-phone operator.
Verizon Wireless currently serves more than 70 million subscribers in 49 states. The company had revenues of approximately $43 billion in 2007.

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