The US Justice Department has approved Verizon Wireless’ USD28.1 billion purchase of smaller rival Alltel, leaving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the final regulatory hurdle. The FCC is expected to make a decision on the deal this week and Verizon hopes to complete the transaction by the end of the year. A combination with Alltel would see Verizon leapfrog AT&T to become the largest cellular operator in the US in terms of subscribers. Verizon has already agreed to divest assets in 100 markets where its operations overlap with those of Alltel.
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