Verizon agrees to sell parts of network to acquire Unicel

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(Host) Verizon Wireless has overcome some of the objections that regulators had with its planned merger with Unicel.

The company has agreed to sell parts of its network to a competitor. That was enough for Attorney General Bill Sorrell and the U.S. Justice Department to drop their objections to the merger.

Assistant Attorney General Julie Brill says the original merger proposal would have stifled competition and hurt consumers.

(Brill) "We required Verizon to sell off all of the overlapping assets throughout Vermont. And there are going to be very many of them. Verizon will have to bring in new competitor to replace the lost competition that we’re going to lose as a result of the merger.”

(Host) Brill says the terms of the agreement will be filed in federal court in Washington. It permits Verizon and Unicel to go through with the merger, but they’ll have to find a competitor to buy part of the network shortly after that.

The two companies also have to wait for approval from the Federal Communications Commission and state utility regulators before they can merge.

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