Monday, July 15, 2013

Investopedia: AT&T Makes One Small Step For Leap

Maybe AT&T (NYSE:T) was insurmountably frustrated in its rumored attempt to buy all or part of Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), or maybe there never was any substance to that rumor. In any case, in lieu of the $150 billion or so that Telefonica would have cost, AT&T's surprising announcement Friday night that it was acquiring Leap Wireless (Nasdaq:LEAP) for $4 billion seems like a much smaller step.

This is a curious deal on multiple fronts. Leap is not a particularly strong company, and it is not as thought AT&T is badly hurting for spectrum. Instead, this may be a case of AT&T flexing its financial muscles to make life harder on its competition (especially T-Mobile (Nasdaq:TMUS) and Sprint (NYSE:S)) and deny this asset to other potential bidders.

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