May 10, 2017 - Technology

Verizon beats AT&T in bidding war for key airwaves

Elise Amendola / AP

Verizon has agreed to buy StraightPath Communications for more than $3 billion, topping AT&T's earlier $1.6 billion bid, WSJ reports, citing people familiar with the deal. A deal may be announced Thursday. [Update: Here's the formal release]

Why is StraightPath so sought after? Because it has high-frequency airwaves that will be crucial to building out 5G networks. Both AT&T and Verizon are working on building out 5G technology and need those airwaves, which travel short distances, to support robust coverage. AT&T ultimately declined to match Verizon's bid, per WSJ.

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