The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved AT&T’s $1.3 billion purchase of Leap Wireless, as per a recent report.
As part of the deal — which works out at $15 per share — AT&T has confirmed that the Leap-owned, pre-paid carrier Cricket will offer iPhone 5 family devices.
The acquisition was expected to be finalized between January and March, pending government approval — which AT&T received today from the FCC.
According to the FCC’s full transaction order, regulators examined antitrust concerns, potential pubic interest benefits, wireless spectrum analysis, and several other facets of the proposed deal. It was eventually determined that Leap was not a “Maverick” disruptor, and that AT&T’s plans to appropriate a portion of Cricket’s spectrum for its LTE rollout will benefit, rather than harm consumers.
Leap’s Cricket was the first prepaid carrier to offer the iPhone: selling the 16GB iPhone 4s contract-free for $500, alongside an unlimited plan priced at $55, starting in June 2012.