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AT&T in the market for Leap Wireless?

Chris Ziegler

There's a lot of posturing and ego-inflating at the very highest levels of the US' wireless industry; AT&T had been the biggest provider until Verizon swooped in and bought Alltel, and we imagine that the new number two has been plotting its counterattack ever since. Of course, this kind of endless tit-for-tat acquisition game is an Alien vs. Predator-style "whoever wins, we all lose" scenario, since the end result is inevitably less competition and more Big Wireless (we just coined that term, and yes, you're free to use it). Anyhow, the popular buzz today is that AT&T is taking a serious look at Leap Wireless -- which owns the Cricket brand, the regional that's offering $40 / month unlimited -- on account of both companies mysteriously canceling appearances at a pair of investment conferences over the next week. It's mega-speculative at this point, but the move would certainly make sense considering the overwhelming popularity of cheap unlimited plans right now and AT&T's presumed desire to get back in the king's throne, wouldn't it?

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