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.)
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