AT&T buys Verizon airwaves for $1.9 billion

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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.