Verizon, AT&T Win 700 MHz auction with bids of $9.6 billion, $6.6 billion

Verizon Wireless and AT&T won most of the spectrum in the FCC’s 700 MHz auction, according to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. Verizon’s Wireless bid $9.6 billion to grab a large block of valuable spectrum, bolstering its nationwide network and positioning it to roll out next-generation, high-speed wireless infrastructure known as LTE. AT&T bid $6.6 billion to grab spectrum that will supplement the 700-MHz spectrum it purchased before the auction from Aloha Partners for $2.5 billion.

According to an analysis by The Associated Press, the two telecom companies bid more than $16 billion, constituting the vast majority of the overall $19.6 billion that was bid in the FCC auction. With Verizon Wireless and AT&T dominating the auction so completely, hopes that the auction would allow for the creation of a new nationwide wireless service provider were dashed. However, Martin said a large enough percentage of the new licenses went to other companies that competition in the wireless market would increase.

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