Technology

The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

FCC approves AT&T's $1.9-billion purchase of Qualcomm spectrum

AT&T

The Federal Communications Commission has approved a $1.9-billion AT&T purchase of wireless spectrum licenses owned by San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc.

The purchase gives AT&T control over licenses that, according to the FCC, "cover more than 300 million people nationwide, including more than 70 million people in five of the top 15 metropolitan areas (New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco)."

The FCC's decision on the spectrum deal was set to be delayed into next year as the regulatory agency was reviewing both AT&T's proposed Qualcomm purchase and the proposed $39-billion takeover of T-Mobile USA together -- that was until AT&T dropped its T-Mobile plans on Monday.

In its approval of the Qualcomm deal, the FCC stated Thursday that AT&T cannot use the spectrum in a way that would negatively impact other carriers using or roaming on nearby wireless airwaves.

The FCC said that, given that AT&T is the largest phone company in the U.S. and the second-largest mobile carrier, concerns of competitive harm were looked at, but any resulting harm wouldn't "outweigh the public interest benefits of this transaction," the FCC said in the order.

In fact, the FCC said it hopes the purchase will prod AT&T and its rivals to use the "underutilized unpaired 700 MHz spectrum" for mobile service, "thereby supporting our goal of expanding mobile broadband deployment throughout the country."

RELATED:

AT&T pulls out of T-Mobile acquisition deal

T-Mobile to gain licenses to AT&T wireless spectrum

FCC to review AT&T deals with T-Mobile and Qualcomm together

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

twitter.com/nateog

Photo credit: Lisa Poole/Associated Press

 
Comments  ()

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Videos

How to Reach Us

To pass on technology-related story tips, ideas and press releases, contact our reporters listed below.

To reach us by phone, call (213) 237-7163

Email: business@latimes.com

Andrea Chang
Armand Emamdjomeh
Jessica Guynn
Jon Healey
W.J. Hennigan
Tiffany Hsu
Deborah Netburn
Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Alex Pham
David Sarno


Categories


Archives