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Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?

Verizon appears to want to lock AT&T out of the 5G spectrum grab with possible $1.8B bid for Straight Path.

Dan Jones

April 25, 2017

2 Min Read
Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?

Straight Path said Tuesday that a "multi-national" operator has outbid AT&T in a bid to acquire its 5G-suitable spectrum, with the most likely contender being Ma Bell's major rival, Verizon.

Straight Path said that the new offer from the unnamed company is for $104.64 per share, or $1.8 billion in total, against AT&T's $1.6 billion bid, which included liabilities to be paid to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) .

It was reported last week that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was considering topping AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s initial bid for Straight Path Communications Inc. . The spectrum holder has fixed wireless licenses for 39GHz nationwide in the US, as well as 28GHz licenses in major cities such as NYC and San Francisco. (See Report: Verizon Considering Bid for Straight Path and AT&T to Flash $1.6B for Straight Path 5G Spectrum.)

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Verizon's motivation in outbidding AT&T -- if that is the case -- is to lock up control of nationwide 39GHz spectrum suitable for 5G long before any high-band auctions happen and deny AT&T access to that spectrum, which would leave it with meager options for initial 5G deployments. AT&T has said that it would initially use the 39GHz spectrum to deploy fixed wireless 5G services before moving to mobile. (See AT&T & Straight Path: What's It All Mean for US 5G?.)

AT&T has five days to beat the new bid. Straight Path investors appear to be betting that it will try, as Straight Path's shares are up $12.38 -- or 11.16% -- at $123.27 in morning trading.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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