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Verizon asks for more time to spin off divested chunks of Alltel

Chris Ziegler

In order to get the FCC to agree to Verizon's massive acquisition of Alltel -- the US' 5th-largest carrier -- it had to agree to some pretty serious concessions, including divestitures in a whole slew of markets to ensure that the competitive spirit remained intact. The "transaction" (as Verizon calls it) closed on January 9, and the resulting mega-carrier was given until May 9 -- a week from Saturday -- to finish spinning off the required markets. Well, as we all know, companies this large aren't known for their agility, and sure enough, Verizon is asking for just a little more time to dot its i's and cross its t's. A "Request for Extension of Management Period" has been filed with the FCC on behalf of the companies asking for another 60 days, which means the divested markets would be up and running outside of Verizon's control by July 8 of this year. Verizon blames "the sheer size and complexity of the divestitures coupled with the current economic conditions" for the request, but seriously, can't they just throw this all up on eBay for, say, a 5- or 7-day auction and be done with it? No? [Warning: PDF link]

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