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FCC clears AT&T's $1.3B buyout of Leap Wireless, iPhone 5 coming to Cricket customers

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Apple partner carrier AT&T on Thursday received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to go ahead with a previously announced acquisition of prepaid mobile provider Leap Wireless worth $1.3 billion.

Cricket


Under terms first announced in July of 2013, AT&T will acquire all Leap Wireless stock and network properties for $15 per share in cash, a deal that now amounts to $1.3 billion. As part of concessions to appease competition watchdogs, AT&T informed the FCC that it will be offering Apple's iPhone 5 to Cricket customers once the buyout is complete.

The acquisition was expected to be finalized sometime between January and March pending government approval, which AT&T received today from the FCC. Re/code was first to report the commission's decision.

According to the FCC's full transaction order, regulators looked at antitrust concerns, pubic interest, wireless spectrum analysis and other facets of the proposed deal. After numerous discussion, it was determined that Leap was not a so-called "Maverick" disruptor and that AT&T's plans to appropriate a portion of the smaller carrier's spectrum for its LTE rollout will benefit, not harm consumers.

Specifically, the acquisition gives AT&T spectrum in the PCS and AWS bands, which are "largely complementary" to the telecom's existing licenses.

As of the filing date, Leap has about 5 million subscribers spread over 35 states and spectrum licenses serving 137 million people. AT&T has over 110 million subscribers with a network covering approximately 308 million nationwide.

Leap's Cricket was the first prepaid carrier to offer Apple's iPhone in June 2012, selling the 16GB iPhone 4S contract-free for $500 alongside an unlimited plan priced at $55. At the time, the company was seen as paying a $150 subsidy to Apple.
post #2 of 11
Are there a multitude of people who own multiple devices? Both VZW and AT&T have over 100 million customers, and Leap has 96 million, that would leave just a few hundred thousand customers for the other carriers, if we are to believe that there's just over 300 million people in the US.
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post #3 of 11
Bit late to offer the iPhone 5 now.
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #4 of 11

Odd that ATT would want them. The point about "complementary" bands seems credible but, really, this doesn't extend their footprint directly. It's a different network so they're really operating two sets of bands now.

 

Sounds like they're pulling a Sprint. Those folks are well known for disappointing investors and customers alike with their purchase of incompatible networks. Now Cricket customers can get used to several years of a possibly bumpy roadmap.

 

Anyway, seems like a more obvious choice for Sprint to have bought them. I trust Sprint will find other incompatible technology to buy. They're good for that.

post #5 of 11
This is wrong: "Leap has about 96 million customers"
Try closer to around 5 million. (4.6 million per Wikipedia)
We need some editing and fact checking here before these stories are posted.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyTed View Post

This is wrong: "Leap has about 96 million customers"
Try closer to around 5 million. (4.6 million per Wikipedia)
We need some editing and fact checking here before these stories are posted.

 

thanks for checking -- that number sounded absurd to me, too. 

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Are there a multitude of people who own multiple devices? Both VZW and AT&T have over 100 million customers, and Leap has 96 million, that would leave just a few hundred thousand customers for the other carriers, if we are to believe that there's just over 300 million people in the US.

As mentioned already, leap has a twentieth of what is reported but some people do have work phones and personal phones.
post #8 of 11
" regulators looked at antitrust concerns, pubic interest, wireless spectrum analysis and other facets of the deal"

The pubic interest???1tongue.gif
post #9 of 11

http://newsroom.leapwireless.com/Press-Releases/AT-T-Completes-Acquisition-of-Leap-Wireless-6b3.aspx

 

Quote:
 

AT&T Completes Acquisition of Leap Wireless

DALLAS, March 13, 2014 — AT&T* today closed its acquisition of prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless International Inc., which operates under the Cricket brand. AT&T announced in July 2013 that it would acquire all of Leap’s stock and wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and subscribers for $15 per share in cash. Leap shareholders will also receive a contingent right entitling them to the net proceeds received on the sale of Leap’s 700 MHz “A Block” spectrum in Chicago, which Leap purchased for $204 million in August 2012.

 

In the coming weeks, Cricket will be integrated with AT&T’s existing operations to create the new Cricket.** The new Cricket will shake up the no-contract segment with a combination of simple, low-cost rate plans; a terrific lineup of smartphones; and a great network experience. The new Cricket will have access to AT&T’s nationwide 4G LTE network covering nearly 280 million people. AT&T will gain access to Cricket’s distribution channels and will be able to expand Cricket’s presence to additional U.S. cities.

 

Cricket’s network currently covers approximately 97 million people in 35 U.S. states, and Cricket had 4.57 million customers as of February 28, 2014. Customer migrations are expected to be completed approximately 18 months after the launch of the new Cricket.

In addition to Cricket’s operations, AT&T also acquired spectrum in the PCS and AWS bands covering nearly 138 million people. This spectrum is largely complementary to AT&T’s existing spectrum holdings and includes unutilized spectrum covering 41 million people. AT&T will immediately begin to put the unutilized spectrum to use to support 4G LTE services for its customers. This additional spectrum will provide additional capacity and enhance network performance for customers using smartphones and other mobile Internet devices.

 

The deal was subject to approval by Leap’s shareholders and to review by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice. The FCC approved the transaction within its 180-day review clock. AT&T will update its full-year 2014 guidance to reflect the impact of this transaction when it announces first-quarter 2014 results on April 22, 2014.

As of close, Leap had about 79.8 million shares outstanding. Leap will be delisted from the NASDAQ. Former Leap stockholders should visit the Leap Wireless investor relations website for more information.

 

Seems quite clear that AI can't read. But the real deal is that AT&T is absorbing this spectrum and adding it to their coverage area. So getting on a Pre-paid Cricket plan with an iPhone 5 will be get my attention.

 

I'll get off of Verizon for this option.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post

Odd that ATT would want them. The point about "complementary" bands seems credible but, really, this doesn't extend their footprint directly. It's a different network so they're really operating two sets of bands now.

Sounds like they're pulling a Sprint. Those folks are well known for disappointing investors and customers alike with their purchase of incompatible networks. Now Cricket customers can get used to several years of a possibly bumpy roadmap.

Anyway, seems like a more obvious choice for Sprint to have bought them. I trust Sprint will find other incompatible technology to buy. They're good for that.

Everyone is good at something I guess.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post

Odd that ATT would want them. The point about "complementary" bands seems credible but, really, this doesn't extend their footprint directly. It's a different network so they're really operating two sets of bands now.

Sounds like they're pulling a Sprint. Those folks are well known for disappointing investors and customers alike with their purchase of incompatible networks. Now Cricket customers can get used to several years of a possibly bumpy roadmap.

Anyway, seems like a more obvious choice for Sprint to have bought them. I trust Sprint will find other incompatible technology to buy. They're good for that.

You're forgetting of course that AT&T wasn't using GSM when they bought Cingular.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
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