AT&T acquires LEAP Wireless


Multinational telecommunications company AT&T has acquired Leap, the prepaid wireless provider known for its Cricket Brand for $1.2 Billion. The acquisition comes after their failed bid in 2011 for T-Mobile US, where a $39 Billion deal fell through after anti-trust concerns and Federal Regulators squashed the deal.

The move by AT&T to buy Leap is yet another step forward for consolidation in the wireless industry, and as mobile devices become increasingly popular a greater presence is requisite to survive in the marketplace. Wireless is being used to power everything from large corporations to online gaming at sites like and AT&T needed to remain competitive in order to increase its prepaid subscriber’s base.

AT&T is currently the nation’s second largest carrier and their $1.2 Billion investment has bought all of Leaps stock and wireless properties, inclusive of network assets, licenses, retail stores and an estimated 5 million US subscribers. This deal will now see them expand their access and build their presence in a rapidly growing lucrative prepaid market and tap into Leaps unused spectrum which covers an estimated 41 million users.

AT&T will retain the Cricket name but will also implement the fastest data network- 4G LTE to their current and potential customer base. They also aim to expand Crickets reach to other US States and use their prepaid influence to grow the AT&T smart phone and prepaid contract sector. AT&T has struggled to compete in the smart phone industry and has experienced great difficulty in selling prepaid contracts, this acquisition should see them grow in a burgeoning marketplace and regain their foothold in the American mobile prepaid market.

The prepaid market in America is currently the fastest growing segment of the mobile industry and the acquisition of Cricket will jumpstart AT&Ts expansion into this highly competitive industry. AT&T takes over all of Crickets existing operations, employees and distribution in a move that could see the Leap network grow from 35 U.S States to covering all 50.

Owners of approximately 29.8% of Leaps outstanding shares agreed to vote in favour of the deal and although now concluded, it is still subject to review by the Federal Communications Commission which could take between six to nine months. AT&T expects the transaction to close by then and that no issues should arise from the inspection, leaving them free to expand and grow with Leap as intended.