AT&T says it's interested in Verizon's unused 700MHz spectrum

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Speaking at a conference this week, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson indicated strong interest in the 700MHz spectrum that Verizon has offered to sell on the condition that it be allowed to buy SpectrumCo's AWS holdings — a controversial purchase that's been questioned by the FCC, Congress, and other carriers in recent weeks. He said that the offering "pairs perfectly" with AT&T's own spectrum and that it could "be up and running and hot" inside of 60 days of sale, which is just about as close to a stamp of approval on a competitor's strategic move as you're going to get. Of course, it stands to reason that a lack of government intervention on Verizon's part sets an important precedent for AT&T's strategic maneuvers and vice versa, which also explains why Verizon was largely silent throughout AT&T's attempted purchase of T-Mobile USA last year.

Whether the feds ultimately approve the SpectrumCo transaction remains unclear, but if Stephenson's words have any effect on their decision whatsoever, it seems obvious that AT&T should be held accountable for placing a bid and utilizing the spectrum within the time frame he suggests — especially since he's suggested the same.

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