February 17, 2004
Cingular Acquires AT&T Wireless
US mobile telephone operator Cingular has announced that it will acquire rival AT&T Wireless for $41B. The deal creates the largest US wireless provider, with 46 million customers and sales of over $32B.
Cingular is a joint venture between BellSouth and SBC Communications, with over 24 million customers. AT&T Wireless is the second-largest US wireless carrier, with over 22 million subscribers.
British mobile phone company Vodafone was the other participant in a bidding war for AT&T Wireless, which was up for sale with a deadline of Feb 13, extended to Feb 15.
The acquisition is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, but is expected to close by late 2004.