Merger and acquisitions in telecoms, at a glance

The merger and acquisitions fever in the US telecommunications industry, at a glance

Associated Press
Dish Network offering to buy Sprint in $25.5B deal
.

View photo

FILE - Three Dish Network satellite dishes are shown at an apartment complex in Palo Alto, Calif., in this Feb. 23, 2011 file photo. Dish Network is offering to buy Sprint Nextel Corp. in a cash-and-stock deal it values at $25.5 billion, saying its bid is superior to that of Japanese phone company SoftBank. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

The two largest wireless carriers, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, have been trying to bolster their spectrum holdings, while the next largest, Sprint and T-Mobile, have been seeking to make alliances to compete better. Here's a look at the merger and acquisition activity in the telecommunications industry since last summer:

— June 26, 2012: Verizon Wireless agrees to sell some airwave rights to T-Mobile and swap others.

— Aug. 2: AT&T Inc. announces three deals aimed at boosting its spectrum holdings. They are with Comcast Corp., NextWave Wireless Inc. and Horizon Wi-Com.

— Aug. 24: A consortium of cable companies sell their spectrum holdings to Verizon Wireless for $3.6 billion.

— Oct. 3: T-Mobile USA's parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG of Germany, agrees to buy MetroPCS Communications Inc. and merge T-Mobile into it.

— Oct. 11: Japan's Softbank Corp. agrees to pay $20.1 billion for 70 percent of Sprint Nextel Corp., providing a much-needed cash boost for the struggling carrier.

— Nov. 11: Sprint Nextel Corp. agrees to buy some U.S. Cellular Corp. service areas in the Midwest for $480 million.

— Dec. 13: Sprint agrees to buy out the minority shareholders of wireless network operator Clearwire Corp., of which it already owns a majority.

— Jan. 22, 2013: AT&T agrees to buy remnants of the Alltel network for $780 million.

— Jan. 25: Verizon Wireless agrees to sell some spectrum rights to AT&T for $1.9 billion and swap some others.

— April 30: T-Mobile completes acquisition of MetroPCS and becomes T-Mobile US Inc. T-Mobile adds 9 million MetroPCS customers to its own 34 million. T-Mobile plans to shut down MetroPCS's network over two years, freeing up space on the airwaves to improve its own coverage and data speeds.

— July 9: Sprint completes acquisition of Clearwire.

— July 10: Softbank completes Sprint deal, now worth $21.6 billion for a 78 percent stake. It comes after Softbank boosts its offer and satellite TV operator Dish Network Corp. abandons its $25.5 billion bid to buy Sprint in its entirety. As part of the new ownership, Sprint Nextel is changing its name to Sprint Corp.

— July 12: AT&T says it will acquire Leap Wireless, the service provider of pre-paid, contract-free plans under the Cricket brand, for about $1.19 billion in cash. The purchase gives the nation's second largest cellphone carrier a leg-up in serving customers who prefer not to have lengthy contracts. It also would give AT&T the right to using Leap's unused airwaves in expanding its existing network.

View Comments (1)