AT&T to buy Leap Wireless for $1.2 billion

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AT&T will retain the Cricket name, and Cricket customers will gain access to AT&T's high-speed 4G network. AT&T will acquire Leap's 5 million subscribers, its employees and its wireless spectrum rights.

AT&T said it will use the additional spectrum for "furthering its 4G LTE deployment and providing additional capacity and enhanced network performance for customers’ growing mobile Internet usage."

AT&T will also be responsible for Leap's $2.8 billion in debt.

The deal is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department. AT&T said it expects to close the transaction in six to nine months. 

The announcement comes two years after AT&T's unsuccessful attempt to buy T-Mobile for $39 billion. The FCC and Justice Department blocked that merger after concluding it would have stifled competition in the wireless industry and led to higher prices for consumers.

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