Verizon and T-Mobile are trying to gobble up US Cellular


The report suggests this is about harvesting even more wireless spectrum; my colleague Allison pointed out in 2022 that US Cellular “tends to offer service where some of the major carriers don’t.” (It would certainly be nice for T-Mobile and Verizon customers to have better coverage, but I would prefer competition to lower my wireless bill.)

T-Mobile would reportedly pay over $2 billion for wireless spectrum licenses and take over “some operations;” the WSJ doesn’t say what Verizon wants, but says US Cellular “also owns more than 4,000 cellular towers that weren’t part of the latest sale talks.”

The idea behind splitting up US Cellular between T-Mobile and Verizon, the WSJ suggests, is to keep antitrust regulators from blocking the deal. Regulators wound up letting T-Mobile merge with Sprint after promises that it would turn Dish into a new fourth major US cellular carrier, but last we checked, Dish had yet to become a meaningful competitor.

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