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AT&T to acquire Verizon assets

AT&T has announced a definitive agreement to acquire wireless assets from Verizon Wireless for $2.35 billion. Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will acquire wireless properties, including licenses, network assets and 1.5 million current subscribers in 79 service areas, primarily in rural areas, including Beltrami County, in 18 states.

Verizon Wireless is required to divest these properties as part of the regulatory approvals granted for its purchase of Alltel earlier this year. The states represented are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

The transaction primarily represents former Alltel assets, but it also includes assets from Verizon Wireless and the former Rural Cellular Corporation.

Network conversion from Verizon's CDMA network to GSM technology and transition of the operations to AT&T is expected to take no longer than 12 months from the date the transaction closes.

The transaction is contingent upon regulatory approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.