FCC holds up AT&T's $780M purchase of Allied Wireless

The FCC, which hasn't seen eye-to-eye with AT&T (T) on a few different occasions in recent years, is delaying signing off on Ma Bell's $780M purchase of Atlantic Tele-Network's (ATNI) Allied Wireless unit (provides mobile services in 6 states under the Alltel brand) until it receives more details about how AT&T plans to transition Allied's prepaid subs.

AT&T is largely interested in acquiring Allied for its spectrum licenses, rather than its 182K prepaid or 409K postpaid subs.

The delay comes as the FCC reviews AT&T's deal to acquire Leap Wireless. Analysts largely expect AT&T to receive a green light, albeit while granting regulators may seek spectrum concessions.

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