Citing concerns over competition (or lack thereof), Leap Wireless has formally asked the FCC to ixnay on the urchasepay
of Alltel by Verizon. The argument's a pretty well-worn one at this point, focusing on roaming agreements that the regional carrier relies on to let its customers go about their business when outside the reach of Leap towers and the concern that the merger will lead to the collapse of some of those agreements. In Leap's case, dead roaming agreements quickly lead to coverage gaps and a significantly impaired ability to do competitive business. Though the FCC is forcing a number of concessions
to preserve competition in the wake of a merger, Leap clearly doesn't think it's going far enough; indeed, Verizon's promise to honor existing roaming agreements after the merger goes through is nothing more than a promise at this point, and not an explicit part of the conditions that the FCC is demanding. The proposed acquisition has built up a ton of steam and is widely expected to breeze through the regulatory process anyway, so Leap's move might be largely symbolic -- but at least they've got their customers' best interests in mind here.
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.