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News > Deals
Bell-Vodafone pact OK'd
March 30, 2000: 6:34 p.m. ET

FCC approval paves the way for deal creating the largest U.S. wireless provider
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday granted approval for Bell Atlantic Corp. and Vodafone AirTouch PLC to merge their U.S. wireless operations, removing that final hurdle to the joint venture that is estimated to be worth some $70 billion.
    The newly created network will provide nationwide wireless coverage to consumers and leapfrog AT&T with 20 million customers nationwide.
    graphicThe FCC's Wireless Telecommunications and International Bureaus said it approved Bell Atlantic (BEL: Research, Estimates) and Vodafone (VOD: Research, Estimates) transferring control of their U.S. wireless licenses and authorizations to Cellco Partnership. Now a Bell Atlantic subsidiary, Cellco will be the vehicle the two companies will use for their joint venture, the FCC said.
    "The bureaus concluded that these transactions do not present competitive concerns," the FCC said. graphic
    Through Cellco, the two companies will form a domestic, nationwide wireless business that will combine their cellular, PCS, paging, and other wireless properties in the United States. The combination of their domestic wireless operations will result in Cellco having the capability of serving more than 90 percent of the United States, 49 of the top 50 wireless markets, and 209 million people.
    In February, Bell Atlantic Corp. and Alltel Corp. announced a swap of wireless properties in 13 states -- a move that cleared the way for regulatory approval of the Vodafone venture.
    The February deal also included GTE Corp., which Bell Atlantic is acquiring.
    Under terms of the venture, Bell Atlantic will give Vodafone a 45 percent stake in the new business, in exchange for Vodafone's $15 billion wireless network. Bell Atlantic will control a majority of seats on the new board. Back to top

  RELATED STORIES

Wireless swap to clear deal - Feb. 01, 2000

Vodafone-Bell Atlantic pact - Sept. 21, 1999

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.