Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Verizon Sacrifices More Alltel Markets

Recently Verizon Wireless added another handful of markets they are willing to spin off to encourage the feds to approve their acquisition of Alltel. We would guess that Verizon may have found a buyer for the isolated properties and have already determined the economic impact of losing them. Obviously they don't need those properties, they feel it may help their FCC application, and that it makes economic sense to do so. After all, if you're going to spend $28 Billion, how much can you realistically throw away and still get your money's worth? And they need to be careful who they throw it to...

The map of Verizon's Alltel and Unicel spin offs shows these markets are in widely separated areas, so any buyer will really need help in making such a non-contiguous network succeed...which may be Verizon's intent. Unless you want to be a major player in the Dakotas, there aren't many purchasers who would want the whole enchilada, unless you're AT&T, or Verizon sells at a good buddy price.

The FCC is expected to vote on the acquisition on November 4th. If there are any further restrictions, Verizon could easily determine it isn't worth it and walk away, and pay a hefty penalty. Even their sources of money are getting cold feet. We still hope Alltel survives as a separate company. But if they too are suffering from the high cost of money, who do think should bail them out? Don't look at me, I just bailed out the spa-soaking executives at AIG.

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