AT&T Pushes for More Growth, Spectrum with $1.2B Leap Purchase

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AT&T is looking buy Leap Wireless in a move to grow its own cell service network even more and add new radio frequencies to its own spectrum lineup. The deal will add 5 million new customers to AT&T's user base, and also gives AT&T Leap's 700 MHz radio spectrum.

AT&T ready to buy Cricket owner Leap in $1.2 billion dealAT&T ready to buy Cricket owner Leap in $1.2 billion deal

Mergers seem to be the name of the game for U.S. cell service providers. AT&T even went so far as to try to buy T-Mobile, although that deal fell apart in late 2011 due to government resistance led in part by rival carrier Sprint.

AT&T won't likely see as much resistance this time around since it isn't going after the fourth largest carrier in the country. That said, the idea that Cricket -- the brand Leap operates under for its cell service business -- will become part of AT&T may not sit well with competitors and consumers hoping for more options when shopping for new cell phones.

The news on AT&T's plans to buy Leap follows the completion of Japan's SoftBank buying more than 70 percent of Sprint in a $21.6 billion deal. That deal wrapped up last week, giving Sprint some $5 billion to increase its LTE coverage areas around the U.S. Sprint also completed its acquisition of Clearwire at the same time. T-Mobile also recently bought MetroPCS.

The big four carriers seems to have their sights set on smaller cell service providers, so watch for even more mergers over the next year.

Comments

ibuck

I’d rather see AT&T grow because of better service and rates than by buying up competitors. I hope government says no, again.

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