AT&T closes $1.9-billion purchase of Qualcomm spectrum
AT&T Inc. has officially completed its $1.9-billion purchase of wireless spectrum licenses owned by San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc.
The deal gives AT&T the ability to offer service on wireless spectrum that covers an area of more than 300 million people nationwide, with more than 70 million of them in five of the top 15 metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston and Philadelphia.
The nation's second-largest wireless carrier announced the closure of the purchase Tuesday in a short statement on its website after the Federal Communications Commission approved the purchase Friday.
The FCC's sign-off on the purchase followed AT&T's decision last week to drop its attempted $39-billion takeover of T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S.
Until the AT&T backed off its bid to buy T-Mobile, the FCC was reviewing both the spectrum deal and the takeover together -- a move that was expected to push any possible approval into next year.
AT&T's new wireless licenses applies to the 700 MHz spectrum, which the FCC described in its approval of the deal as "underutilized" by the telecommunications industry.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo credit: Lisa Poole / Associated Press