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This article was published on July 12, 2013

    AT&T acquires Leap Wireless for $1.19 billion, plans to keep Cricket branding

    AT&T acquires Leap Wireless for $1.19 billion, plans to keep Cricket branding Image by: yongxin zhang
    Josh Ong
    Story by

    Josh Ong

    Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

    AT&T has announced a deal to purchase prepaid carrier Leap Wireless for $15 a share. The arrangement will include continuation of Leap’s Cricket brand.

    Leap had roughly 5 million subscribers. Rumors of the deal first surfaced over a year ago.

    AT&T appears to be paying quite a premium for the operator, as Leap shares were trading at just $7.98 on Friday. With 79.05 million shares, the purchase price would be almost $1.19 billion.

    Also as part of the deal, AT&T picks up spectrum in the PCS and AWS bands, which should play nicely with its existing licenses. Once it gets the go-ahead, AT&T plans to put Leap’s spectrum to use for its own LTE network.

    The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice will need to review the acquistion. AT&T said it expects to complete the transaction in six to nine months.

    Earlier this week, Softbank completed its $21.6 billion acquisition of third-place carrier Sprint.

    Image credit: iStockphoto