AT&T and T-Mobile to Duke It Out Over Verizon Spectrum

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Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is getting ready to sell a highly desirable block of spectrum, and according to The Wall Street Journal, rivals AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) will be battling for it.

The spectrum has been valued at around $2.75 billion and is attractive because the airwaves reach long distances and can provide service even inside large buildings. The spectrum is in a lower frequency called the A block, which is highly limited and is under evaluation by regulators as to whether ownership caps should be placed on it.

Currently, industry dominators Verizon and AT&T own about 75 percent of that spectrum, but smaller carriers like Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile have argued for placing limits on low-end spectrum purchases to stimulate competition in a wireless industry that’s frequently referred to as a duopoly. AT&T could have trouble getting approval for the purchase if regulators decide that such limitation is necessary.

AT&T and T-Mobile have been rivals in the U.S. wireless industry for years, since AT&T’s attempted purchase of T-Mobile was blocked by regulators in 2011. T-Mobile, which bills itself as “the un-carrier,” has specifically called out AT&T on multiple occasions, claiming that it can provide much better service at a better price than AT&T.

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