Sunday, May 3, 2009

Verizon Asks for Alltel Extension

In a move that everyone expected, Verizon Wireless has applied for a 60-day extension of the deadline to make the required divestiture of certain Alltel and Unicel markets in order to get approval for their acquisition of Alltel Wireless. This confirms the expected divestiture date of July 9, 2009 as the best guess date that Verizon will split away their required properties.

The most recent information shows that there were a few bidders on all or parts of the Alltel, Verizon and Unicel divestiture properties in a private "auction". Verizon claims, and we believe, they need time to sort out the best deals for themselves and then get the required approvals. In our book, anything that keeps Alltel a separate operation a little longer is a good thing for cellular customers. An extension of the divestiture certainly gives current Alltel customers an extension of the anxiety already felt about their service, but it lets many of them enjoy what we feel is still one of the superior cellular operations the country a little longer.

If you read in July that Verizon asks for yet another extension, that just could be another good thing. And for those savvy Alltel customers who know what a good thing they have, it will be a chance to extend their contracts yet again. I know, who thought wanting to extend your contract would be desirable?

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