& cplSiteName &

FCC Green-Lights AT&T's Leap Buy

Sarah Thomas
3/13/2014
50%
50%

The FCC has officially cleared the path for AT&T to acquire Leap Wireless, noting that concessions the carrier has made are enough to satisfy any public interest concerns.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced its intent to acquire Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP), which operates the Cricket Communications Inc. brand, in July of last year. The $1.19 billion deal earned Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval Thursday evening. (See AT&T to Acquire Leap Wireless for $1.19B.)

The FCC found that the "public interest benefits of the proposed transaction outweigh the likelihood of significant public interest harms, such that overall, the proposed transaction is in the public interest." It didn't come without conditions, however.

AT&T has to divest spectrum in certain markets, as well as agreeing to begin deploying LTE using Leap's spectrum within 90 days to 12 months of closing -- and within 18 months in six specific markets in south Texas where Leap had a big swatch of customers. It also has to maintain Leap's CDMA roaming agreements as long as it keeps the network around. (See AT&T Plans a Prepaid Cricket Attack.)

The FCC is also requiring AT&T to continue to offer rate plans targeted at value-conscious and Lifeline customers, as well as to provide it with quarterly updates on how it's meeting the conditions and the migration of Leap customers.

AT&T gains nearly 5 million new prepaid customers through the deal, but, more importantly, it gets access to Leap's spectrum, including its complementary PCS and AWS holdings and an LTE network that covers 21 million people.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2014 | 10:07:08 AM
Re: "Public interest benefits."
Those public interest benefits are sometime more in the minds of the attorney's making clever presentations before the FCC than actual benefits. Only time will tell whethere AT&T's of 21 million customers will ultimately provice some added benefits to the public and customers. The FCC did mandate carrying out the service to value customers and Lifeline subscribers which gives bargain rates to low income folks. Just how many this might serve is open to question.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/14/2014 | 4:55:11 PM
Re: "Public interest benefits."
Faster access to LTE in Cricket's markets, which AT&T pledged to upgrade in the coming weeks. A larger network for AT&T customers and more prepaid choices. Because Cricket was small in size and relatively targeted in certain markets, they didn't see it taking out a competitor as much as, say, Sprint acquiring T-Mobile would be.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/14/2014 | 4:52:01 PM
"Public interest benefits."
Does the FCC say what those "public interest benefits" are?
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/14/2014 | 9:30:03 AM
Done deal
Well, that was quick -- AT&T closed the deal today, less than a day after getting FCC approval. AT&T and Leap's boards actually both approved awhile back.

The "New Cricket" is coming soon, and AT&T says it has big plans to shake up the prepaid market.
MarkC73
50%
50%
MarkC73,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/14/2014 | 8:52:28 AM
Re: M&A in the USA
I agree, it will be interesting to see what happens, the wireless market has always been 'competitive' (from a carrier perspective not necessarily a price and service perspective).  Prepaid still has a lot of potential.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/13/2014 | 6:25:53 PM
M&A in the USA
I don't think T-Mo and Sprint should feel encouraged by this. It's a much different size and scope.

I am interested to see what kind of splash AT&T makes in prepaid now.
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Fixing IoT Security Is an Ecosystem Challenge

12|9|16   |   05:34   |   (0) comments


Level 3 Communications' Chief Security Officer Dale Drew says service providers, manufacturers and even consumers must combine to halt massive DDoS attacks using IoT devices in botnets. The solution he has in mind includes reputation-based routing by the service provider but also more secure endpoint devices and greater consumer awareness.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Clears $2B in Business Revenue

12|8|16   |     |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Breaux discusses how the third-largest US MSO will reach the $2 billion revenue mark this year and plans to hit $3 billion by 2021
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
Upcoming Live Events
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Small Arctic ISP Caches Netflix in New Way
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/7/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
A Mobile Safari Click Here
Literally.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.