AT&T buys Verizon airwaves for $1.9 billion

The deal must be approved by the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. The companies said they expect approval in the second half of this year.

Verizon and AT&T are the largest cellphone carriers in the country, followed by Sprint and T-Mobile.

Last year, Verizon acquired blocks of spectrum from a coalition of cable companies for $3.6 billion. That transaction also included agreements that allow Verizon and the cable companies to sell each other's services.