AT&T gets regulatory approval to buy Qualcomm spectrum

Reuters

Late last week AT&T Inc announced that it won regulatory approval to buy wireless spectrum from U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc, a move that would boost the company's 4G network. AT&T is buying 700 megahertz airwaves for about $1.93 billion, with the aim of countering criticism over iPhone service quality and competitive threats from rivals like Verizon Wireless.

"This spectrum will help AT&T continue to deliver a world-class mobile broadband experience to our customers," Bob Quinn, an AT&T senior vice president, said in a statement.

The companies expect to close the transaction in the coming days, AT&T said (Dallas, Texas, USA).

Last week, AT&T withdrew its $39 billion plan to buy T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, Wash., USA) after the deal faced powerful regulatory opposition.  AT&T said it needed to buy T-Mobile USA to help overcome a spectrum shortage as the telecom provider moves toward 4G and LTE technologies.

Verizon Wireless (New York), the largest U.S. telecom operator, is also working on increasing its spectrum.  The telecom operator has been purchasing spectrum from cable companies in an effort to build out its 4G and LTE network.  But on Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it is investigating the deals, saying they could potentially hurt competition in both the telecom and cable markets.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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