US Demands Concessions In AT&T, Liberty LatAm Deal


The US Department of Justice (DoJ) granted AT&T permission to proceed with a US$2 billion deal to sell its Caribbean holdings to Liberty Latin America, but demanded the companies divest certain fibre assets to Puerto Rico-based operator WorldNet Telecommunications as a condition of approval.

Liberty Latin America must sell its fibre network in the Puerto Rican capital city of San Juan; all fibre assets of its subsidiary, Liberty Communications Puerto Rico (LCPR); LCPR’s enterprise customer accounts; and rights to install fibre using its above and below ground infrastructure.

AT&T must also offer an option to purchase segments of its aerial fibre network.

The DoJ noted Liberty Latin America and AT&T are two of the three largest fixed operators in Puerto Rico, arguing the combination of their assets “would leave many customers with only one alternative and others” with none at all. It added the divestiture will remedy potential consumer harms by setting WorldNet Telecommunicaitons up as a “strong competitor” in the fibre market.

A judge must sign off on the terms, which have already been agreed by AT&T and Liberty Latin America.

AT&T CFO John Stephens said on a recent earnings call it expects the sale to Liberty Latin America to close by end-October.

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