The folks from AT&T have just dropped a big piece of news. That being the company has purchased Leap Wireless for the tune of around $1.19 billion in cash. Leap Wireless, better known as Cricket in many parts of the US, is one of the largest telecommunications network in the US aside from the bigger names. Could this be the big news they were teasing for next week?

You may also remember Jump Mobile, another pre-paid option that was around for a few years and eventually ceased operations back in 2010. However, Cricket Wireless is still a strong competitor in the mobile space with over 5 million subscribers, but now they have a new home over at AT&T.

The acquisition claims that AT&T will be buying Leap Wireless completely for $15 per share, which comes out to roughly $1.19 billion dollars according to reports. The buyout will see AT&T taking over their spectrum (to help with their 4G rollout) all their customers, retail stores, and well as Leap’s $2.8 billion in debt.

$15 per share is more than double what Leap was sitting at when trading ended today, so this should be good news for many shareholders. For Cricket users, AT&T will retain the Cricket name and give all 5 million of those users access to their 4G network. They’ll also be expanding Cricket to other US cities if the deal goes as planned.

Just like the T-Mobile deal, this must clear with the stockholders, as well as FCC regulators and the Department of Justice. We’ll see how it goes, because we all know how the T-Mobile/AT&T merger went.

VIA: Wall Street Journal