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October 13, 2009

AT&T-Centennial deal gets antitrust approval

Requires divestiture of assets in Louisiana and Mississippi

By CBR Staff Writer

AT&T has won the approval from the US Justice Department to proceed with its proposed $944m acquisition of Centennial communications, but on the condition that it would divest Centennial’s operations in eight service areas in Louisiana and Mississippi.

In November 2008, AT&T and Centennial have entered into an agreement under which AT&T would acquire Centennial. Under the terms of the deal, Centennial stockholders would receive $8.50 per share in cash. The acquisition was approved by Centennial’s stockholders in February 2009.

The Justice Department said that it requires the divestitures as the proposed transaction would substantially lessen competition to the detriment of consumers of mobile wireless telecommunications services in the areas of southwestern and central Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi.

In May 2009, AT&T has announced a definitive agreement to sell to Verizon Wireless five of the Centennial service areas covered under the DOJ ruling for $240m.

Wayne Watts, senior executive vice president and general counsel of AT&T, said: “We are pleased with the Department of Justice’s decision and see it as an important step toward closing our acquisition of Centennial.

“The combination of AT&T and Centennial will bring together two complementary wireless businesses and will produce meaningful benefits for customers of both companies. The acquisition of Centennial’s assets will help us enhance our 3G wireless network – the nation’s fastest.”

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