TIME mergers and acquisitions

AT&T Leaps Into Prepaid Wireless Market

New York City Exteriors And Landmarks
Ben Hider—Getty Images AT&T store on December 31, 2013 in New York City.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the merger of the nation's number two wireless carrier AT&T and prepaid powerhouse Leap Wireless, which runs the Cricket prepaid wireless service

The Federal Communications Commission approved AT&T’s acquisition of Leap Wireless on Thursday. Leap runs the Cricket prepaid wireless service, which has about 5 million subscribers.

With 110 million U.S. subscribers as of the end of 2013, AT&T is the second largest carrier in the U.S. When first announced last July, the merger raised concerns that the acquisition of the popular wireless service could harm public interest. But AT&T has promised to divest spectrum in some markets and to offer low-cost packages comparable to the ones that made Cricket popular. In a SEC filing, it promised prepaid monthly packages for $40 or less for at least a year and a half after the merger.

AT&T’s network currently covers 308 million people across the country, while Leap’s covers 96 million in 35 states, according to ZDNet. The deal will strengthen AT&T’s network capacity in large markets and improve its presence in the growing prepaid market.

[The Verge]

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Readers,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team