Report: Verizon may acquire Alltel

A wireless merger of such gigantic proportion could challenge AT&T, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

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NEW YORK ( -- Verizon Wireless is in talks to purchase rival Alltel Corp., according to a report Wednesday, in a deal that could create the largest mobile carrier in the United States.

According to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal, the deal could be worth $27 billion. The delicate negotiations involve multiple financiers, including private equity firm TPG Capital and the group of banks which supported Alltel's $27.5 billion buyout last year.

Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500), Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), Barclays PLC (BCS) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) still hold more than $24 billion in loans and bonds over Alltel.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission would need to approve any merger, but combining Alltel - which has a subscriber base of about 13.2 million people in the South and Midwest - with Verizon Wireless (VZ, Fortune 500) would create a 80-million-subscriber wireless telecom giant to challenge the dominance of AT&T, the Journal wrote.

AT&T (ATT) reported 71.4 million subscribers last quarter.  To top of page

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