AT&T Inc. (T:US) won U.S. permission to buy airwaves from Verizon Wireless for $1.9 billion, helping bolster its high-speed data network in areas covering 42 million people.
The Federal Communications Commission said in an e-mailed statement today it approved the deal, which brings the second-largest U.S. carrier more airwaves in 18 states, including California, Texas, New York and Florida.
As part of the deal Verizon, based in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, gets airwaves in cities including Los Angeles and Phoenix from Dallas-based AT&T.
No. 1 Verizon is selling airwaves after acquiring other frequencies in a deal last year with cable companies including Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC:US)
The FCC still is reviewing AT&T agreements to buy spectrum and subscribers from Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. (ATNI:US) for $780 million and to buy fifth-largest U.S. mobile carrier Leap Wireless International Inc. (LEAP:US) for $1.2 billion.
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