FCC Approves Liberty Acquisition of AT&T’s Puerto Rico, USVI Operations After DOJ Approval
Friday, October 30, 2020 | Comments

The FCC approved Liberty Latin America’s acquisition of AT&T’s Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) operations, following an agreement between Liberty and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that allowed the acquisition to move forward.

In 2019, Liberty and AT&T announced the sale. Shortly after the announced deal, the DOJ filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Liberty and AT&T, arguing that the acquisition would eliminate competition for fiber-optic-based telecommunications services in Puerto Rico. As part of its agreement with the DOJ, Liberty agreed to divest some of its business-to-business operations (B2B).

Liberty has said that it is currently in the process of divesting some of those operations and expects the deal with AT&T to close on Oct. 31.

In 2019, following the announcement of the acquisition, Liberty filed an application with the FCC asking for transfer of AT&T’s licenses, leases and authorizations for the Puerto and USVI operations. In December 2019, the DOJ asked the FCC to hold action on the review while it looked into national security, law enforcement and public-safety concerns with the acquisition. The FCC later received notice from the DOJ that it could move forward with the application as long as any FCC approvals were conditioned on Liberty honoring its commitments in an agreement with the DOJ.

The FCC found that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to harm the public interest and approved the transfer of the licenses.

Under the acquisition, AT&T will retain all of its First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) responsibilities.

Find the full order here.

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