Thursday, July 24, 2008

Verizon Concedes More Alltel Properties

Possibly in a rush to get the deal done before a new President, Congress or FCC leans in another direction, Verizon Wireless has thrown in several "concessions" to get their acquisition of Alltel approved ASAP. They're emphasizing that they will maintain any and all roaming contracts with all other carriers and even go so far as to allow carriers to choose which roaming agreement, Alltel's or Verizon's, will apply going forward.

Verizon offered to divest themselves of wireless properties in as many as 85 markets in 18 states, containing about 15% of Alltel's customers, to get the deal done. Could the feds want more? It means spinning off mostly rural parts of the Alltel network in North and South Dakota, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. Do we see AT&T drooling?

While this sounds like a decent deal for the consumer, smaller wireless carriers are quite concerned and want more roaming issues to be clarified, especially what happens when all their roaming contracts expire. It may be like buying an SUV in today's market: Verizon is willing to give more concessions now to get that vehicle out the door before the market, or the feds, make a left turn.


abqdave said...

I wonder if they have to divest Alltel's network, or could they give-up their own in overlapping areas. I am thinking of northwest New Mexico Rte. 550 ABQ-Farmington corridor, where the Alltel network is better than the hardly existent Verizon.

Anonymous said...

From what I have been reading across the web it looks like the markets being given up are markets currently owned by Alltel where Verizon already has a strong presence. Interestingly enough from the looks of it some of the same markets that were given to Alltel from GTE during the original Verizon merger of 2000 are once again the same markets being spun off to some one else. Who will it be and how long will they hold on to them before the next big merger changes their mind.