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Verizon considering topping AT&T's bid to buy Straight Path - sources

Signage for an AT&T store is seen in New York October 29, 2014. AT&T Inc has made a bid for Yahoo Inc's internet business, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo - RTX2PXRO

By Greg Roumeliotis and Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) is considering making a buyout offer for Straight Path Communications Inc (STRP.A) which would top AT&T Inc's (T.N) $1.25 billion bid, people familiar with the matter said.

Shares of Straight Path, a holder of licenses to wireless spectrum, rose 3.6 percent to $95 in after-market trading.

Straight Path said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that a third party, which it did not name, is evaluating making an offer that would top AT&T's bid. (http://bit.ly/2pc8Nn0)

The party had also been bidding to acquire the company before AT&T made its offer, Straight Path said.

AT&T and Verizon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Straight Path on Monday agreed to be acquired by AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, for $95.63 per share. The price represents a hefty 162.1 percent premium to Straight Path's April 7 closing price.

Millimeter wave spectrum is expected to play a large role in 5G networks. Both AT&T and bigger rival Verizon have been conducting 5G trials.

Verizon is testing a 5G fixed wireless service with equipment maker Ericsson in 11 markets in the U.S. and expects a commercial launch as early as 2018.

Straight Path had said in January it was hiring investment bank Evercore Partners to help explore strategic alternatives, including a sale of assets.

Shares of AT&T and Verizon were unchanged in extended trading.


(Additional reporting by Laharee Chatterjee and Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)