DALLAS (Jan. 22, 2013) — AT&T announced today that it will buy Atlantic Tele-Network Inc., which operates as Alltel, for $780 million, according to media reports.
The deal includes wireless properties, licenses, network assets, retail stores and about 585,000 subscribers in mostly rural areas across six states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.
AT&T will nab spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz, and 1900 MHz bands, and that is likely the big draw as the carrier continues to build out its 4G LTE network, reports pcmag.com. AT&T has made several big spectrum purchases in the past year, in 608 cellular markets across the country, which cover 82 percent of the population, pcmag.com said.
Federal regulators are expected to approve the deal, the Associated Press reported. The companies predict the deal will close in the second half of the year. AT&T said it does not expect integration costs to significantly affect its earnings or cash flow, the AP said.
AT&T shares were up this morning to $33.71, but they dropped to $33.28 and rebounded to $33.80 this afternoon.